Government to review poverty reduction target
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The economic team of the Duterte administration will look into the possibility of further lowering the Philippines’ poverty reduction target from the current goal of 14 percent by 2022, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

In a text message to reporters, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the Philippines is on track to meeting its poverty reduction target, with poverty incidence settling at 16.6 percent in 2018.

“This means the Duterte administration is making headway in its ultimate goal of reducing poverty incidence to 14 percent by the time the President leaves office in 2022,” Dominguez said.

Asked if the government would consider further lowering the target, Dominguez said, “that’s certainly possible. (We) will take it up in the next EDC (Economic Development Cluster) meeting.”

Meanwhile, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, in a separate interview, also expressed confidence that poverty incidence by 2022 would be “much lower than the target.”

Both Dominguez and Beltran said the reforms implemented by the Duterte administration have helped the government pull down the poverty rate and improve the quality of life of FilipinoXQs.

 “Reforms have been put in place by President Duterte to improve the lives of all Filipinos, such as the tax reform, Build Build Build, rice tariffication, free state universities and colleges tuition, and institutionalization of the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) for the poorest households,” Dominguez said.

 “These economic reforms have clearly resulted in more money in the pockets of the Filipino people, while reducing inflation and creating more jobs,” he said.

 Going forward, Dominguez said more reforms, such as the Universal Health Care program and the proposed increase in excise taxes for alcohol and electronic cigarette products would ensure better healthcare coverage for the public and further reduce poverty incidence in the country.

“We have advanced a number of game-changing reforms we set out to accomplish at the start of the Duterte administration. If we pass the rest of the reforms in the 0-to-10 Point Socioeconomic Agenda, we will move even closer to the President’s ultimate goal of a comfortable life for our people,” Dominguez said.

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