900,000 Pinoys lifted from poverty – PSA

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
900,000 Pinoys lifted from poverty � PSA
Residents of Barangay San Nicolas in Binondo, Manila go about their daily routine on September 20, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Approximately 900,000 people have been lifted from poverty based on the latest Philippine Statistics Authority report that showed poverty incidence dropping to 22.4 percent in the first half of 2023 from 23.7 percent in the same period two years ago.

According to the PSA, the 22.4-percent rate translated to about 25.24 million Filipinos, while the 1.3-percentage-point drop simply meant that almost 900,000 people have lifted themselves from poverty and have now reached middle-class status.

Speaker Martin Romualdez, in a statement, gave assurance that the House of Representatives would continue pursuing and funding programs of President Marcos intended to improve the lives of millions of poor Filipinos.

“We are happy for 900,000 of our countrymen whose situation has improved. We will continue to help the more than 25 million get out of poverty through intervention programs Congress, principally the House where the national budget emanates, should consistently fund,” he said.

To complement such programs, the Speaker said House members and other lawmakers and local government officials, individually or collectively, undertake their own assistance projects that benefit their constituents.

“We hope we can reduce poverty to a single-digit rate by the end of the term of President Marcos as he has set out to do when he assumed the presidency,” Romualdez said.

The Chief Executive wants the poverty level, pegged in 2019 at 18 percent, cut to eight percent before 2028.

The House leader cited the 4Ps, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation, TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers), free college education, free health insurance and the grant of direct cash subsidies as among government intervention measures.

He said the House has chosen to exercise its oversight power as needed to bring down the price of rice and other staples to affordable levels by fighting inflation, smuggling, hoarding, price manipulation and similar abusive practices.


Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte cited Romualdez for steering through the House the swift passage of the government’s priority legislative measures designed to sustain the robust post-pandemic growth, create more jobs and livelihood opportunities and improve the lives of Filipinos.

He said the substantial number of new laws and proposed legislation acted upon by the chamber halfway through this legislative session is the Christmas gift of the Speaker and House members to the Filipino people.

“Speaker Martin has traced the superb performance of the House of Representatives this year to the continued unity and cooperation of all of us in the bigger chamber in serving the highest interest of the Filipino people,” Villafuerte, president of the National Unity Party, said.

“But the Speaker has looked past something in his recap, and this has to do with the remarkable role he has played in shepherding the passage of a fairly large number of priority bills identified by the President and LEDAC for urgent action,” he said.

“This record accomplishment marks the Christmas gift of the House under the Speaker’s leadership to our people,” Villafuerte added.

LEDAC refers to the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council, the consultative body created under Republic Act 7640 in 1992 to draw up with, and recommend to, the President socio-economic development goals, including helping identify the priority legislative measures for Congress to pass in support of these objectives.

“The House has been productive and efficient more than ever, passing in record time most of the priority measures endorsed by President Marcos in his SONA (State of the Nation Address) and by LEDAC,” Villafuerte said.

“Under the very able leadership of the Speaker, the House has passed a sizable number of proposed laws meant to bring the Marcos administration closer to the President’s paramount goal of high and inclusive growth for Filipinos by way of accelerating poverty reduction, turbocharging the economy and generating more and better jobs and livelihood opportunities for all,” he said.

Plight of Pinoys

Meanwhile, President Marcos vowed to consider the plight of Filipinos when crafting policies in an online post that sought to highlight the government’s accomplishments and programs.

“This is our promise – that in every step we take, the plight of every Filipino will be in our minds and hearts to achieve the new Philippines we aspire for. Merry Christmas! A happy new Philippines to all of us!” Marcos said in a Facebook post written in Filipino Sunday evening.

The President’s post contained a nearly-four-minute-video featuring the programs of his administration as well as the changes that took place after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Narrated by a boy who talked about his family’s hardships during the health crisis, the video mentioned the government’s electrification efforts, the resumption of onsite classes, the giving of free seeds to farmers affected by typhoons, the establishment of Kadiwa outlets that sell lower-priced goods, the fixing of bus routes and the opening of new factories. — Alexis Romero

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