THE good news is that, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, one in three Filipino families has escaped poverty in recent years.
The first quarter survey showed that 30 percent of the 1,200 respondents no longer identify their families as poor unlike in previous years.
An earlier SWS survey showed that the self-rated poverty in the country went down to 42 percent or 9.8 million Filipino families in the first quarter of 2018. This is two points below the 44 percent or 10 million Filipino families who considered their families poor based on a similar survey conducted in December last year.
Malacañang is understandably pleased with the survey result, declaring that the Duterte administration hopes to further reduce poverty incidence among Filipinos while pushing more inclusive growth in the next four years.
The challenge not only for the current administration but also for succeeding ones is to ensure sustained economic growth to gradually but steadily reduce poverty levels, and wipe out absolute poverty within the foreseeable future.
We need to help our people gain access to decent jobs, free education, quality healthcare and other basic services. This is what inclusive growth is all about. If the Duterte administration can achieve a substantial reduction in poverty levels by the time it leaves office in 2022, it will no doubt leave a lasting legacy to the nation.