By Bernadette D. Nicolas, January 14 2019; Business Mirror


Image Credit to GMA Network

Malacañang said over the weekend that efforts of the government to tame inflation will allow more Filipino families to get a respite from high prices even as the country’s poverty rate remains high.

Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo also welcomed as a “positive development” the Fourth Quarter 2018 Social Weather Stations Survey results on Self-Rated Poverty. Survey results showed a slight drop in the number of Filipino families considering themselves as poor.

From September 2018’s 52 percent, or about 12.2 million families, the latest survey results indicated that this declined to 50 percent, or about 11.6 million Filipino families who rated themselves as poor in the last quarter of the year.

“Such improvements may be perceived to be in consonance with the December 2018 drop of inflation, registering at 5.1 percent—the lowest since June 2018,” Panelo said in a statement on Sunday.

“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,” he added.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has advanced the forecast that inflation for 2019 is expected to decelerate below 4 percent.

Although there is a dip in the self-rated poverty results, Malacañang said the government is leaving no stone unturned to sustain high economic growth, create more jobs and ease consumer prices.

“Even as we acknowledge such positive development, we note however that the poverty among Filipinos is still high,” Panelo said.

“Our economic managers are vigorously pursuing policies and programs geared toward reducing the poverty level and propelling the country’s economic development,” he added.

The same survey also found 34 percent, or an estimated 7.9 million families, rating themselves as “food-poor.” This is two points below September 2018’s 36 percent or an estimated 8.5 million families.

The survey was conducted from December 16-19, 2018 using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults nationwide.