Gadon touts PBBM's programs aimed at reducing poverty

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

May 17, 2024, 7:01 pm

<p>Presidential Adviser on Poverty Alleviation Secretary Larry Gadon. <em>(PNA file photo by Ben Briones)</em></p>

Presidential Adviser on Poverty Alleviation Secretary Larry Gadon. (PNA file photo by Ben Briones)

MANILA – Presidential Adviser for Poverty Alleviation Larry Gadon on Friday attributed the decline in poverty incidence to the government's social protection programs, as well as efforts to open up the economy and attract more investments under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

During the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing, Gadon reported that the country's poverty rate dropped from 24.7 percent in 2023 to 23.4 percent so far in 2024, representing a 1.3-percentage-point reduction.

He said the latest figure corresponds to about 11 million families.

Gadon said the full reopening of the economy and removal of pandemic-induced restrictions propped up the country's economic growth.

"Dahil na rin ito sa magandang programa ng Marcos administration. Napakarami ng mga nagawa ng Marcos administration like opening up the economy (This is attributed to the good programs of the Marcos administration. The Marcos administration has done a lot like opening up the economy)," Gadon said.

"The unreasonable restrictions before by IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) [had] led to a lot of job losses. And so ini-open ni Presidente Bongbong Marcos ang economy (President Bongbong Marcos opened up the economy)," he added.

Gadon said the President's good economic stewardship is evidenced by the Philippine economy growing by 5.7 percent in the first quarter of the year, surpassing other major economies in the region.

He also cited the high employment rate, which was at 96.1 percent in March 2024, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Gadon said the Marcos administration has also been focused on attracting more foreign investments, which will result in more employment opportunities for Filipinos.

"The President is working very hard on attracting investments so that we can create more jobs because the only way that you can solve poverty is by creating more jobs," he said.

Gadon, likewise, credited the social protection programs of the government aimed at reducing poverty, particularly the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program and the Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program.

He said recent survey results showed a 3-percent decrease in self-rated hunger among Filipino families from 14 percent in the 4th quarter of 2023 to 11 percent during the first quarter of 2024.

He said this represents a decline of approximately 800,000 families, indicating that the social protection programs of the government are working.

"Aside from the continuous programs on TUPAD and the other social protection programs of the government ay nagkaroon pa ng bagong project ang DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] na tinatawag nating food stamps (the DSWD has a new project called Food Stamp Program)," he said.

Gadon expressed confidence that the Marcos administration's goal toward a single-digit poverty level by 2028 is "achievable" given current developments. (PNA)