MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte recognizes the increasing number of poor Filipinos following the latest Social Weather Stations survey, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Nearly half or 45 percent of Filipinos consider themselves poor, according to the survey released Saturday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo cited Duterte's remark in his fourth State of the Nation Address calling on officials to work towards lifting 6 million Filipinos out of poverty.
"In other words, in-acknowledge niya (he acknowledged it), that’s why our economic managers are doing something," Panelo told reporters.
"That has been the challenge of all administrations in this country. We have to improve the lives of our countrymen."
Duterte had urged lawmakers to immediately pass the second tranche of tax reforms.
"We have to pursue tax reforms to fund our poverty reduction programs. I, therefore, call on Congress to immediately pass Package 2 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program or the TRABAHO bill which will lower corporate income tax and rationalize, improve fiscal incentives," he said.