Philippine Statistics Authority(PSA) recorded that the among Filipino individuals, poverty incidence in 2018 dropped to 21 percent in the first half of 2018 from 27.6 percent determined from 2015 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES). Significantly, there are 5.7 million Filipinos lifted from poverty in 2018.
The 6.6 percent dropped is influenced from the various reforms and investments that have generated employment for the Filipinos. Moreover, poverty incidence among Filipino families have reached 16.6 percent in 2018 from 22.2 percent in 2015.
In the 2018 FIES, a new poverty threshold was set at Php 10,481 for family with 5 members. On an average, this is the needed monthly income of a family to meet “basic food requirement and non-food needs”.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the decline of poverty incidence in 2018 is brought about by different specific efforts namely:
- Employment opportunities among Filipino families from the manufacturing and construction.
- Income of Filipino individuals increased in 2018. This was seen that Filipinos employment had shifted from agriculture to service and industry. Despite of the hiking inflation rates in 2018 which had levied to 8.1 percent (2015-2018) from 7.6 percent (2015-2012), income grew to 21.2 from 15.5 percent.
- Consistent Cash Conditional Transfers, support services from the government such as 4ps and expansion services of Social Programs.
- Roll-out of Unconditional Cash Transfers or UCT of PhP2,400 per household likely boosted domestic cash receipts of the poor. The UCT Program was released in early 2018 to cushion vulnerable groups from the transitory effects of the tax reform law.
Accordingly, based on the report of NEDA, “there eight are regions recorded poverty incidence below national average, four of which posted single-digit poverty incidence”.
The full report of FIES for 2018 will be released by PSA sooner.
Apart from the mentioned efforts of the government, strategies that will stabilize prices will also be carried-out to maintain the reduction of poverty incidence in the country. One of this, is the new law of Rice Liberalization Law which aims to give farmers technical support through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund or RCEF.