By Czeriza Valencia, October 8 2018; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is coming up with a multidimensional poverty index or MPI that would capture the progress in the standard of living of Filipinos.

It announced over the weekend that the MPI would help monitor the country’s progress in attaining the aspirations of Filipinos under the country’s long-term vision contained in the Ambisyon Natin 2040.

In brief, Filipinos envision that within a generation’s time, the country would become a predominantly middle-class society enjoying a family-centered life free from worry and strife.

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said despite having government statistics showing real increase in income and decline in poverty rate, there remain challenges to the poverty data.

The MPI is meant to complement the income-based poverty indicators currently used by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as it would capture the multiple deprivations experienced by Filipinos with respect to education, health and living standards.

“(It) is more relevant in depicting poverty as it is closer to the concept of a comfortable lifestyle. It also provides objective methods for identifying beneficiaries of targeted assistance programs,” said Edillon.

She added that the MPI concept and methodology are ready to be presented to the PSA board by the fourth quarter of this year and would hopefully be implemented next year.

Apart from adopting the MPI, NEDA has started the pilot survey on the quality of life of Filipinos.

“This will complete the picture of incomes, outcomes, and perception of wellbeing of individuals and families.

This can be analyzed alongside the different contexts of markets, the macroeconomy, the physical environment, and so on. We can perhaps gain a better understanding of what works and what does not,” Edillon said.