16 January 2017

From Secretary Martin Andanar on SWS Q4 2016 Self-Rated Poverty
For two consecutive quarters, change has been really felt by our people when Filipino families who considered themselves mahirap/poor reached a new record low.

The figure registered at 44% in December 2016 while it was 42% in President Duterte’s first three months in office. These surpassed the previous record low of 47% in 1987 during the Cory administration.

This underscores the fact that we are on the right direction in putting emphasis on poverty alongside the war on drugs and crime. The President’s first Executive Order, if you will recall, is streamlining the agencies of government that deal with poverty. He wants simpler and faster services that will address the needs of the poorest of the poor constituency.

On the two-point increase in self-rated poverty nationwide, we take notice of the survey result showing the increase in self-rated poverty in Balance Luzon. This may be attributed to the strong typhoons that hit Luzon during the latter part of the year which damaged crops and properties and affected the livelihood of thousands. As a mitigating measure, the Department of Agriculture has been providing assistance to those affected.

The Duterte administration is resolute in bringing about real change in Philippine society. The war on drugs, crime and corruption has one overriding goal: to uphold the rule of law and restore peace and order so that sustained economic growth can lead to significant poverty reduction and improved living standards for all.