President Rodrigo Duterte's economic team is competent enough to push for programs and policies that would lift more Filipinos out of poverty, MalacaAang said on Sunday.
In an interview with dzIQ, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace was confident that the country's economic managers can introduce anti-poverty measures aimed at helping poor Filipino families.
Marami na ring krisis na dumaan pero magaling ang economic managers natin. So siguro, alam na nila ang kanilang gagawin (We have experienced many crises but our economic managers are competent. Perhaps, they know what to do), Panelo said.
Panelo issued the statement after Social Weather Stations' (SWS) Dec. 13 to 16 poll revealed that the number of Filipino households who consider themselves poor in the past three months rose to 13.4 million or 54 percent from the 10.3 million or 42 percent registered in September 2019.
SWS noted that the latest number of poor Filipino families was the highest since the 55 percent posted in September 2014.
Panelo downplayed the poll results, stressing that poverty incidence tends to fluctuate from time to time.
'Yung survey natin di ba there was a time na umakyat, meron naman time na bumababa so talagang nagfa-fluctuate ang sentimiyento ng mga tao, depende sa kalakaran na nakakabalot sa kanila (There was a time that survey results are either relatively high or low. So the public sentiments really fluctuate, depending on the situation), he said.
The current administration is targeting reducing poverty incidence to 14 percent by the end of Duterte's term in 2022.
The Palace official, nevertheless, expressed confidence that poverty rate would go down, in the event that the government implements new projects that would create more job opportunities for Filipinos.
Marami tayong incoming projects (We have many incoming projects), Panelo said.
'Pag iyan sunud-sunod na mag-umpisa na, syempre, maraming trabaho. Maraming kababayan natin na mahihirap na magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na gumanda ang kanilang buhay (When the projects begin, these will create more jobs. Our fellow countrymen will have the opportunity to have a comfortable life), he added.
In December 2019, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said it is possible and quite reasonable that poverty rate would further drop to 10 to 12 percent by 2022.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar also guaranteed in December last year that the government's programs will further give beneficial gains and advantages to Filipinos this year.
Source: Philippines News Agency