Marcos admin targets to cut poverty rate to 9%

According to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s senior economic manager, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the administration aims to complete the president’s term with a healthy -to-GDP ratio of 60 percent and a single-digit poverty rate.

On Wednesday, Diokno revealed the administration’s six-year economic goals.

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He said Marcos had received the Department of Finance’s 2023–2028 medium-term fiscal framework.

By the end of President Marcos’ term, poverty incidence is to be reduced to a single digit, or 9 percent, according to Diokno, who noted that the poverty rate was 25 percent in the first year of the Duterte administration.

The COVID-19 pandemic increased the number of Filipinos living in poverty by 3.9 million due to strict lockdowns that prevented economic activity. The Duterte government had set a goal of reducing the poverty rate from 15.5 percent to 17.5 percent by the conclusion of its term.

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The poverty rate was 23.7 percent as of the first half of 2021, up from the 21.1 percent noted in the same period of 2018.

The poverty rate dropped from 23.5 percent in 2015 to 16.7 percent for the entire year 2018.

Diokno acknowledged that the previous administration’s efforts to reduce the poverty rate “somewhat backslid[ed]” due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Marcos admin targets to cut poverty rate to 9%

The previous president Rodrigo Duterte budget secretary and governor of the was in charge of finance.

“On the debt, it will be down to 60% by 2025. Right now, it’s around 63%. It will be slowly tapering off to 60% by 2025,” Diokno said.

The government -to-GDP ratio, which measures how much the state owes concerning the size of the economy, reached 63.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022, which is higher than it has been in 17 years and far more than the internationally advised limit of 60 percent.

Due to borrowing attempts to increase the state’s war chest to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the previous administration is expected to incur an additional P3.2 trillion in debt, bringing the total to P13.1 trillion by the end of 2022, above the original plan of only about P9.9 trillion.

According to Diokno, the Marcos economic team wants to lower the government’s fiscal deficit to GDP down to 3%.

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