If President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. continues the economic policies of former President Rodrigo Duterte, the plan to significantly alleviate the poverty of the Philippines will remain an “ambitious” target, according to a non-governmental organization (NGO).
In BongBong’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) this July, he said the government’s target is to reach a 9% or single-digit poverty rate by 2028.
“In 2015, the poverty rate was 21.6%, and President Duterte targeted to bring it down to 14%, but he was unsuccessful as current poverty rate is even higher at 23.7%,” said Council for People’s Development & Governance spokesperson Liza Maza, Thursday.
“The neoliberal policies and Build-Build-Build Program did nothing to alleviate poverty in the country, and President Marcos Jr. expects to do a miracle with the same neoliberal policies and same economic managers? Ito ang lutang.”
It was only December 2021 when the Philippine Statistics Authority said that the poverty rate among the Philippine population was 23.7% from January to June last year, which is higher than the 21.1% rate in the first two quarters of 2018.
It was only Tuesday when the Social Weather Stations said that self-rated low-income families would hit 48% in June 2022 (12.2 million), higher than the 10.9 million in April 2022.
Group doubts Marcos admin’s 9% poverty rate target in 2028
Marcos Jr. first said in his SONA that he would present a comprehensive infrastructure plan to “complete” the projects that Digong has already started under Build, Build, Build.
Despite this, Bongbong did not show any details other than the promise that “no part of the country will be left behind” and “prosperity will come to the Filipinos.”
Although the Philippines exceeded the economic development target in housing, it is said that the possibility of the country reaching the targets in other core indicators such as the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, poverty incidence, as well as when it comes to the sectors of social protection and infrastructure.
It was only May that the unemployment rate in the Philippines jumped to 6% (equivalent to 2.9 million Pinoys), except for the more than three-year high in the rate of increase in commodity prices (inflation rate) at 6.1% this June.
Neoliberalism is a policy model that promotes liberalization, privatization, and deregulation of the economy.
Maza, a former representative of the Gabriela Women’s Party in the House, was the lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission under Duterte from 2016 to 2018.