Poverty and inequality in the Philippines remains a challenge. In the past four decades, the proportion of households living below the official poverty line has declined slowly and unevenly and poverty reduction has been much slow.
In 2012, extreme poverty in the Philippines was estimated at 19.2 percent of the population, or about 18.4 million people, based on the international poverty line of $1.25 per day. Most of the poor in the Philippines live in rural areas and work in the agriculture sector, mainly in farming and fishing. Urban poverty, however, has been increasing in recent years. Migrants without jobs or with low-paying jobs are unable to afford decent housing. As a result, Philippine cities have high proportions of informal settlers who are among the poorest of the poor.
The poor in the Philippines have families of six or more members, with greater numbers of younger and older dependents. In the majority of poor families, the head of household has only an elementary education or below. These families have few or no assets and minimal access to electricity, water sources and toilet facilities. They also have limited access to health and education services.
The Philippines has one of the fastest growing populations in Southeast Asia. From having fifty million inhabitants in 1980, the Philippines today is home to around ninty million people with 11 million living in Manila only. Living place is becoming increasingly satuarated. This overcrowding is causing a range of problems such as lack of education, lack of healthcare, unemployment and general poverty.
The high level of hunger incidence in the country is perhaps one of the most pressing issues that need to be addressed by our policy makers. One probable cause of the increasing trend in hunger is the rising food prices akin to what the country experienced in 2008.
In a recent report, released in January 2014 by the International Labor Organisation (ILO), the Philippines has the highest...