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More Pinoys become poor amid pandemic

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
More Pinoys become poor amid pandemic
This April 14, 2020 photo shows residents of Parola compound in Tondo.
The STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — More Filipinos are poor now compared to seven years ago due to the pandemic, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) reported yesterday.

POPCOM Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III said the government’s plan to reduce poverty rate to 14 percent was affected by the pandemic.

From 23 percent in 2015, Perez said the poverty incidence dropped to a low of 16 percent in 2019. The figure ballooned to 23.7 percent at the height of the global health crisis in 2021.

“The latest figure translates to 26.14 million Filipinos who live below poverty threshold, which is estimated at P12,082 average monthly income for a family of five in the first semester of 2021,” Perez noted.

He said population development works also suffered a setback as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But with the easing of mobility restrictions and reopening of businesses, Perez said the country’s economy has gradually recovered.

“With high hopes, the economy will be on the path of complete recovery by the end of 2022,” he said.

During the pandemic, the number of family planning users among Filipino women slightly went up, while mortality rates and infant mortality dropped.

“From 2020 to 2021, we saw a decrease in births and population growth, including a decline in adolescent birth rates that has accelerated the trend toward achieving replacement fertility by the end of this administration,” Perez said.

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