The government is implementing several measures to reduce poverty incidence among Filipinos to 9 percent by 2028, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said on Thursday. Malacañang, citing a statement issued by NEDA, said the Marcos administration remains focused on its priority to reduce poverty incidence by the time President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. steps down. Balisacan issued the statement after the release of a recent Social Weather Stations self-rated poverty survey, which showed that almost half of Filipino families consider themselves living in poverty. 'We note that the SWS September survey was conducted after a series of typhoons hit the country, which also affected food prices and directly impacted families who lacked the means to cope with the increase in prices,' Balisacan said. 'As we noted earlier, poverty measures based on respondents' perceptions are sensitive to inflation, particularly for essential commodities. Food inflation in September was higher than in June this year due to the supply disruptions.' To provide assistance to those in need, he said, the government is implementing the food stamp program, the removal of pass-through fees for vehicles transporting goods, and the distribution of cash aid through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance program, specifically targeting the poorest individuals. The administration also prioritizes policies and programs aimed at generating more and higher-quality jobs, he added. 'This will involve expanding our markets, improving our infrastructure, and attracting more strategic investments, while also preparing the workforce with the necessary skills for the jobs that will be created,' Balisacan said. He said the government has also ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, established green lanes for strategic investments, and streamlined project approval procedures, among others. Balisacan said the government would pursue programs to modernize agriculture, improve productivity, and enhance the linkage to markets. 'Given these strategies and our whole-of-society approach, we are optimistic that we can still reduce poverty incidence among Filipinos to 9 percent by 2028,' he said.
Source: Philippines News Agency