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Gov’t to miss poverty-reduction target

19% goal for 2016 falls short of global commitment
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 06:00 AM February 12, 2015

The government has conceded that it would be unable to reduce poverty this year to the levels it had earlier committed under the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015 aimed at improving human life in general.

In a speech before members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Wednesday, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan noted that while strides have been made by the Aquino administration to grow the economy, it was still working hard to address the remaining problems of poverty and unemployment.

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Among the government’s goals before the current administration ends was to slash income poverty to 19 percent of the population by next year, according to Balisacan, who is also director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

But the Neda chief admitted that the 2016 poverty-reduction goal “will fall short of the Millennium Development Goals target of 16.6 by 2015, or half of the poverty incidence of about 33 percent in 1991.”

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During the presentation of the Philippines’ fifth progress report on the MDGs last August, a checklist showed that only two goals have high probabilities, or at least 90-percent chance, of achieving their respective targets across all metrics: Reducing child mortality and developing a global partnership for development.

The six other goals—eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS and malaria, and ensuring environmental sustainability—have chances ranging from low, or less than 50 percent, to high per metric, the checklist showed.

According to Balisacan, the new poverty-reduction target for 2016, as set under the updated Philippine Development Plan, “takes into consideration the slow progress in poverty reduction during the past decade and the setback in recent years due to wide-scale destruction resulting from natural and man-made disasters.”

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TAGS: Arsenio M. Balisacan, Business, Economic Planning Secretary, Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, MDGs, Poverty, United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals
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