Economic gains, losses

You can't have it all.

          That is, all favorable news when you're talking about socio-economic development.

          On the one hand,  the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey indicates that one in three Filipino families has escaped poverty in recent years. The first quarter survey showed that 30 percent of the 1,200 respondents said they no longer identify their families as poor unlike in previous years.

          Understandably, Malacañang has welcomed the results, saying that the Duterte administration hopes to further reduce poverty incidence among Filipinos while pushing more inclusive growth in the next four years by broadening access to free education, medicine and healthcare and other basic services to ensure that Filipinos directly benefit from the country’s economic gains.

          Based on the results, 11.8 percent said they have escaped poverty in the last four years (newly non-poor), while another 18.2 percent said they used to be poor five or more years ago (usually non-poor).

          SWS earlier said 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. 

          The other side of the picture, however, is not as promising, the same survey said, as there are now 10.9 million jobless Filipinos.

          The survey results, released on Labor Day, showed that from 7.2 million in December 2017, the number of jobless adults rose to an estimated 10.9 million in March 2018. This 23.9 percent joblessness rate is an 8.2 percent increase from last year’s 15.7 percent.

          The survey results showed that joblessness tend to affect women more than men, with 33.9 percent of female Filipinos jobless, compared to only 16.1 percent of males. The number of jobless females increased by 7.2 percent, while jobless males rose by 8.5 percent.

          While you can't have good news on the economy at all times, you can reduce the number of the bad through prudent economic policies.