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Poverty rate will slide down once RH Law goes full swing—Neda chief

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:19 PM January 25, 2018
Ernesto Pernia

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia (File photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Once local government units (LGUs) fully implement the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, poverty incidence can drop to as low as only 9 percent of the population, the country’s chief economist said.

As such, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters last Wednesday that economic managers are pitching a draft executive order to be submitted at the next Cabinet meeting aimed at ensuring full implementation of Republic Act No. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

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“We need an EO that will mandate all LGUs in implementing the RP-RH Law,” said Pernia, who heads the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

The Neda chief described the law as “a very powerful tool” as well as “the cheapest way of reducing poverty.”

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Pernia lamented that at present, the RH Law is being implemented only in certain regions.

READ: DOH gears to fully implement RH law

Citing projections from the Commission on Population, Pernia said the poverty rate can slide to 9 percent by 2022 from about 19 percent at present once the implementation of the RH Law goes in full swing.

The Duterte administration targets to slash the poverty incidence rate to 14 percent by 2022 from 21.6 percent in 2015 through its 10-point socioeconomic agenda.

Included in the 10-point agenda was “strengthening the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable, especially, poor couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.”

According to the state planning agency Neda, there were 1.4 million less poor Filipinos in 2015 than six years prior.

The 2015 poverty incidence nonetheless translated into 21.93 million Filipinos, or about one out of every five, who still cannot afford to buy basic food and nonfood items. /jpv

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TAGS: NEDA, Pernia, Population, Poverty, RH law
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