(File photo)

MANILA – The national government is working harder to address poverty in the country despite the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing a drop in the number of Filipino families that consider themselves poor, Malacañang said Tuesday.

“Alam namin na mataas pa rin po ito kaya naman ang aming priyoridad ay ang muling pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya para mas maraming Pilipino ang magkaroon ng trabaho at hindi magutom (We know that it is still high so our priority is to revitalize our economy so that more Filipinos can have jobs and not go hungry),” acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a Palace press briefing.

Results of the SWS survey conducted in December 2021 showed that around 43 percent of Filipino families rated themselves as poor.

This translates to an estimated 10.7 million families, which is slightly lower than the 11.4 million (45 percent) recorded in September last year.

The pollster also found 39 percent of families considered themselves “borderline poor,” while 19 percent felt they are not poor.

Andanar cited the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as among Duterte’s legacies that contribute to decreasing the country’s poverty rate.

In March 2019, Duterte signed Republic Act 11310, a law institutionalizing the government's 4Ps.

The 4Ps, a national poverty reduction strategy and a human capital investment program, provides conditional cash transfer (CCT) to poor households for a maximum of seven years to improve their health, nutrition, and access to education.

Meanwhile, Andanar welcomed a report which showed that the Philippines is the second happiest country in Southeast Asia.

The 2022 World Happiness Report (WHR) released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) showed that the Philippines ranked 60th out of 146 countries in the world, an improvement from its 61st ranking in the 2021 report.

Singapore topped the list of happiest Southeast Asian countries and ranked 27th worldwide.

For the fifth straight year, Finland remains as the happiest country in the world. (PNA)