Philippines poverty rate in H1 2023 at 22.4%

December 22, 2023 - 6:37 PM
Residents of a small apartment building do house chores outside their units, amid the lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in a slum area in Tondo, Manila, Philippines, May 4, 2020. Picture taken May 4, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo)

The Philippines‘ poverty rate dropped to 22.4% or 25.24 million people in the first half of 2023, the government’s statistics agency said on Friday, from 23.7% in the same period in 2021.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr aims to bring down the poverty rate to 9% before his six-year term ends in 2028, by investing in infrastructure and courting foreign direct investment to create jobs and boost economic growth.

Marcos on Wednesday signed into law next year’s record 5.768 trillion pesos budget, detailing the government’s plan to combat poverty, secure the borders, and boost economic growth.

The Philippines, a country of more than 110 million people, is bracing for a challenging 2024 due to the impact of El Nino weather phenomenon which could potentially derail the country’s fight against inflation.

It has abandoned its growth target range of 6.5%-8.0% for 2024, narrowing it to 6.5%-7.5%, to reflect the impact of the dry spell on the consumption-driven economy.

The statistics agency only releases poverty data once every few years.

— Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor