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Lower self-rated poverty elates Malacañang

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A homeless family shares a meal on the streets. Malacañang on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, welcomed the drop in the self-rated poverty as expressed by Filipinos in the survey recently released by the Social Weather Stations. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Sunday welcomed the drop in the self-rated poverty survey released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

“The Palace welcomes the December 2018 survey on self-rated poverty conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) indicating that 50 (percent) of Filipino families consider themselves as “mahirap”, a drop from September 2018’s 52 (percent),” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

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READ: SWS: 11.6M Filipino families say they are poor

“The polling firm translates this to an estimated 600,000 families saying that they no longer think of themselves as poor,” he added.

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Panelo noted that the same poll showed a similar drop of Filipino families who considered themselves “food poor,” from a 36 percent in September 2018 to a 34 percent in December 2018.

The Palace official said that “such improvements may be perceived to be in consonance” with the December 2018 drop of inflation which was at 5.1 percent.

“With the President’s tireless efforts in addressing and taming the inflationary effects of the prices of basic goods and commodities, we remain optimistic that many Filipino families would continue to feel more comfort this year,” Panelo said.

He also mentioned that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas “has advanced the forecast that inflation for 2019 is expected to decelerate” below four percent.

While the Palace recognizes “such positive development,” Panelo said they were aware that poverty among Filipinos was “still high.”

To address the high poverty rate, Panelo said the government must, as articulated by Secretary Ernesto Pernia of NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), “sustain high economic growth that creates many jobs and reduce prices and inflation.”

Panelo said the country’s economic managers were “vigorously pursuing” policies and programs geared towards reducing the poverty level as well as “propelling the country’s economic development to a degree satisfactory to the administration’s goal of not only giving our countrymen comfortable lives but putting our country at par with our fast developing industriali(z)ed Asian neighbors.” /cbb

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