MANILA-- The drop in the number of families experiencing involuntary hunger in the first three months of 2017 validates President Rodrigo Duterte's efforts to alleviate poverty in the country, MalacaAang said Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella noted that the Social Weather Survey showed a 2 percent drop in the number of families experiencing involuntary hunger during the first quarter of the year.
The March poll showed that 11.9 percent or an estimated 2.7 million households missed a meal at least once in the past quarter.
The figure is 2 percentage points below the 13.9 percent or 3.1 million families logged in the December poll.
This latest finding, conducted last March 25-28, affirms the positive impact of the Duterte administration's poverty alleviation efforts on the lowest rung of society, Abella said.
The Palace official cited some of the government's immediate pro-poor and inclusive efforts that contributed to the drop in hunger incidence.
These include social protection to the poor, the marginalized and the neglected sectors such as conditional cash transfer to the poorest of the poor, higher pension for seniors, free medicine for indigents, added incentive and combat duty pay for police and soldiers, gratuity pay to job order and contract workers in the government and regularization of tens of thousands of employees in the private sector.
Abella stressed that the Duterte administration hopes to further reduce poverty incidence through a series of long-term anti-poverty programs being instituted by the government.
The government's long-term goal, however, is to improve the lives of Filipinos across sectors, through effective delivery of goods and services, like increased spending in infrastructure projects and the promotion of easy access microfinancing system, Abella said.
Last October, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 5 adopting Ambisyon Natin 2040, the 25-year long-term vision of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to eliminate poverty and hunger in the country, as the government's 25-year vision.
Ambisyon Natin 2040 aims to triple real per capita incomes and eradicate hunger and poverty by 2040,if not sooner.
And prior to the ASEAN Summit in April, President Duterte's economic managers presented Dutertenomics, the administration's economic and social development blueprint that aims to accelerate poverty reduction and transform the Philippines into a high- to middle-income country by 2022.
They said the economic policies of the government have a 10-point socioeconomic agenda which primarily aims to reduce poverty from 21.6 percent in 2015 to 13 to 15 percent by 2022.
Aside from poverty reduction, Dutertenomics will also push the golden age of infrastructure in the Philippines.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia had said that the Duterte administration had programmed to spend up to PHP9 trillion on public infrastructure from 2017 to 2022.
Big-ticket infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, mass urban and subway systems are among key priorities under the administration's development agenda.
Source: Philippines News Agency