Poverty won't end by 2016, Palace admits

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2014 10:53 PM | Updated as of Mar 06 2014 06:53 AM

MANILA – The Palace on Wednesday admitted that inclusive growth may not be achieved during the term of President Benigno Aquino, who only has 840 days left in office.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the country needs specific strategies to address poverty, which cannot be done within 6 years, or by the end of the President's term in 2016.

"But what we hope to do is to reduce poverty while we are still in governance," he said.

According to Lacierda, National Economic and Development Authority director general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said it did not only take a decade for China to employ poverty reduction strategies.

"It took more than several decades. That is the kind of poverty strategies that we will have to address. Certainly, it will not (be) finished by 2016," he said.

"This is a long-term strategy to address poverty, but we need a specific strategy to address poverty. But you also need economic growth, that’s why we have to have both economic growth and a strategy to address poverty," noted Lacierda.

Malacanang, however, does not seem worried by the gap between the rich and the poor in the country, which was pointed out by a journalist during Wednesday's Palace press conference.

"The thrust of government is to make sure that we reduce poverty at a certain percentage. That plan is in place and we will continue to do that 'til the end of our term," he said.