Poverty to be reduced by 10% yearly–MTPDP

Published by rudy Date posted on May 30, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino administration aims to reduce poverty incidence in the Philippines by 10% annually until the President’s term ends in 2016, the 2011 to 2016 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) said.

The MTPDP, the country’s economic blueprint for the next six years, said this goal will be achieved by meeting targets in social development that are funded through the government’s improved governance and anticorruption efforts.

This goal is accompanied by the government’s aim to promote inclusive growth by increasing gross-domestic product (GDP) growth to 7% to 8% every year, while, at the same time, causing percapita income to rise to $3,000 by 2016 and $5,000 in two decades.

“With good governance and anticorruption as overarching theme, the plan has three broad strategies. First is a high and sustained economic growth, which provides productive and decent employment opportunities. The second strategy is provision of equal access to development opportunities across geographic areas and across different income and social spectrum, which will ensure that economic growth and opportunities translate to poverty reduction. Thirdly, the plan will push for the implementation of effective and responsive social safety nets in order to assist those who will not be able to catch up by the character of a rapid economic growth,” the National Economic and Development Authority said in a statement.

The government’s targets are anchored on the 16-point agenda of the President, which he disclosed during the election campaign in 2010, as well as the country’s commitments to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

By reducing the country’s annual poverty incidence by 10%, the government hopes to halve extreme poverty to 16.6% by 2015. This is from the 1991 baseline which placed extreme poverty in the country at 33.1%.

To meet the goal, the government intends to implement a Universal Health Care program that will meet the health-related MDG, such as decreasing maternal mortality to 52 by 2015, and to 50 by the end of the President’s term, from the baseline of 95 to 163 maternal mortality in 2010.

It also intends to help stabilize population growth rate to 1.48% to 1.82% by 2015 from the 2.04% baseline. The program will also help reduce total fertility rates in the country to 2.4% to 2.96% in 2015 from the baseline of 3.3%.

“The Philippine Development Plan affirms the government’s commitment to attain the MDGs. One of the main thrusts of the Universal Health Care approach is geared toward this end, including program targets on lifestyle-related diseases. Other targets pertain to programs on health insurance, nutrition and reproductive health,” the MTPDP stated.

The government also aims to expand its social protection programs, such as the conditional cash transfer (CCT), Kalahi-CIDDS, and Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) programs to cover 53 provinces by 2016.

The CCTs will cover 2.3 million poor household this year; 3 million by 2012; 3.7 million by 2013; 4 million by 2014; 3.5 million by 2015; and 2.9 million in 2016. The baseline for this is 1 million poor households.

For Kalahi-CIDDS, the government intends to add 571,725 household beneficiaries this year; 382,950 by 2012; 323,325 beneficiaries each by 2013 and 2014; and 274,275 additional households by 2015.

The government also intends to add more beneficiaries to the SEA-K program. It estimates that around 18,050 beneficiaries will be added this year; 19,750 in 2012; 21,615 in 2013; 23,660 in 2014; 25,940 in 2015; and 28,445 households will benefit by 2016.

The government also intends to update the National Household Targetting System for Poverty Reduction by 2014 in identifying as much as 5.6 million poor households.

Further, the government aims to achieve a 93% participation or net enrollment rate in the elementary and secondary levels by 2016. This, the government said, will help increase simple and functional literary to 98.1% and 90.1% from the baseline of 95.6% and 86.4%, respectively.

The MTPDP said this would be met by addressing classroom gaps and increasing the number of scholarships for deserving students. The plan said while the government built 76,710 new classrooms between 2004 to 2010, the classroom backlog for 2011 was still at 113,000 classrooms.

The government aims to cover 44,000 students every year or 264,000 students in six years under the Student Financial Assistance Programs.

The Stufaps are administered by the Commission on Higher Education and offered to students who do not have the financial capacity to pay for their schooling.

The government also aims to improve the quality of life of Filipinos by directly providing 1.475 million housing units. This is, however, just a fraction of the total housing needs of the Philippines which is estimated to reach 5.8 million by 2016.

The government, however, intends to extend housing assistance through the Home Guarantee Corp. (HGC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

For one, the government, through the HGC’s housing assistance, intends to provide guarantees to 420,298 housing loans over a six-year period. The number of housing loans to be guaranteed are expected to gradually increase to as much as 93,044 by 2016 from only 50,500 this year.

“Total housing need, which includes housing backlog for new households, is estimated to reach about 5.8 million units by 2016. The National Urban Housing and Development Framework 2009 to 2016 indicated that Regions 3 [Central Luzon], 4-B [Mimaropa] and the National Capital Region account for about half of the total housing need,” the MTPDP stated.

The housing program will also extend to include urban renewal or slum upgrading to meet the MDG on ensuring environmental sustainability, which aims to improve the lives of 100 million slum dwellers worldwide by 2020.

To attain this goal, the government intends to formulate a National Slum Upgrading Strategy. This will help identify new resettlement sites and other programs that would address the needs of slum dwellers.

The government also intends to synchronize the land distribution and acquisition component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program through the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The government aims to distribute 1.5 million hectares to 1.1 million beneficiaries between this year until 2014.

The gross landholdings covered by the Department Agrarian Reform (DAR) is estimated at 1.102 million hectares.

The DAR aims to resolve around 70,941 cases under adjudication of agrarian cases; provide legal assistance to 45,487 cases filed at judicial and quasijudicial courts; and mediate and conciliate 131,099 agrarian-related conflicts.

“From 2011 to 2016, DAR shall provide legal assistance to agrarian reform beneficiaries, with 780,000 targeted cases to be resolved, disposed or submitted for resolution,” the MTPDP noted. –Cai U. Ordinario, Business Mirror

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