MANILA, Philippines – Partylist lawmakers on Thursday lambasted how growth in the Philippine economy was not being felt by the poor.
Reacting to the 7.1 percent third quarter growth of the economy, Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Neri Colmenares asked why then there was still a high poverty incidence if the economy was doing well.
“Hindi nababawasan substantially yung nagsasabi na hirap at nagugutom sila,” he told reporters during a media forum.
ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio echoed Colmenares’ sentiment, saying that such economic growth did not reach the urban and rural poor.
“Malinaw na hindi pangunahing nakikinabang ang mahihirap sa growth na nakikita,” Tino said, pointing out that the economic growth was partly due to “OFW-driven consumption.”
“Why is there a disjoint between the unemployment rate and economic growth?” asked Colmenares and challenged the government how it came up with its unemployment rate.
He said that those no longer looking for work because they have grown tired searching and the number of housewives must still be included in computing the unemployment rate.
The partylist lawmakers believed that the unemployment rate would be bigger if those people were included in the equation.