Gov’t confident of 9% poor level

Government’s target to bring down the poverty rate to single digit by 2028 will capitalize on sustained economic growth.

“Our target of a 9 percent poverty rate has taken, of course, into account population growth. The target assumes high and sustained economic growth,” National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told Daily Tribune.

Balisacan has reacted to former Socieconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia’s statement that “achieving single-digit poverty rate by 2028 is a tall order with population increase unmanaged, growing yearly at 1.63 percent, which is the fastest in the Asean.”

Moreover, Balisacan said achieving the “target is complemented by improved access to productive employment opportunities, especially among the poor, including the unskilled and semi-skilled workers.”

He added that the ongoing work on the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 reflects this orientation.

Economists weigh in

For his part, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort said that “other than population growth and demographic implications on poverty incidence that is innately challenging to bring down the country’s poverty rate in the coming years, other changes include elevated inflation largely brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war since February 24 would lead to risks of some increase in poverty incidence.”

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