By Jean Mangaluz, November 24, 2022; Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked 15th out of 63 countries in income inequality, according to a World Bank report released on Thursday.

The World Bank report said that the top 1% of Philippine earners captured 17% of the total national income, with 14% of the income being shared by the bottom 50%.

“With an income Gini coefficient of 42.3 percent in 2018, the Philippines ranks 15th of 63 countries for which data on income inequality is available. Of [East Asia and the Pacific] countries for which data are available for 2014-19, only in Thailand is income inequality greater than in the Philippines,” said the World Bank report.

The World Bank attributed the inequality to “unequal opportunities, slow access to tertiary education among low-income households, inequality in returns to college education, and social norms putting the heavier burden of childcare on women”.

In a statement, the World Bank said that the Philippines was still able to alleviate poverty from 49.2% in 1985 to 16.7% in 2018, but the problem of inequality still persists.

“Inequality of opportunity and low mobility across generations wastes human potential and slow down innovation, which is crucial for building a competitive and prosperous economy that will, in turn, improve the well-being and quality of life of all Filipinos,” said Ndiamé Diop, the World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.