NEDA Chief: Recovery strategy to focus on poor Pinoys

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua (Photo PNA)

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua has assured poor Filipinos will remain the focus of the country’s economic recovery strategy from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement for the 2021 first semester poverty statistics report, Chua said the government has achieved four years ahead of  2018, its 2022 poverty goal of lifting six million Filipinos out of poverty. 

He said that while hitting its target early, the government continues to pursue reform programs like the social protection program Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to further uplift Filipinos’ lives. 

“The results of the game-changing reforms are clear. Prior to the pandemic, economic growth averaged 6%, inflation averaged 3%, and the rates of poverty and unemployment were at record lows,” he noted, adding that the pandemic hit and hurt the gains the government achieved early on.

Chua, also these issues will be addressed by the strengthened implementation of the programs towards achieving a more inclusive economy. 

“We will also improve our social protection programs to support the vulnerable. To this end, we accelerated the implementation of the PhilSys or the national ID (identification) program (to) provide every Filipino with a digitalized and unique proof of identity,” he said.

As of December 10, Chua said some 50 million Filipinos have already been registered for the national ID program and around 6.7 million were able to open bank accounts. 

He said a fully digital ID will allow the government to more efficiently implement social protection programs and directly disburse funds to beneficiaries. 

“We end this year on track to an early recovery. Our growth prospects are encouraging. As we collectively strive towards our 2040 vision, the poor will be at the center of our recovery and development strategy. No one will be left behind,” he assured.