Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and rising food, fuel, and commodity prices, addressing poverty and inequality in the Philippines remains a challenge. The proportion of households living below the official poverty line has declined slowly and unevenly in the past four decades, and poverty reduction has been much slower than in neighboring countries such as the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Economic growth has gone through boom and bust cycles, and recent episodes of moderate economic expansion have had limited impact on the poor. Great inequality across income brackets, regions, and sectors, as well as unmanaged population growth, are considered some of the key factors constraining poverty reduction efforts.
Poverty in the Philippines: Causes, Constraints, and Opportunities comprehensively analyzes the causes of poverty and recommends ways to accelerate poverty reduction and achieve more inclusive growth. The report provides an overview of current government responses, strategies, and achievements in the fight against poverty and identifies and prioritizes future needs and interventions. The analysis is based on current literature and the latest available data, including the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey.