Pandemic pushes millions of Philippine people into poverty hinh anh 1Children pray before eating their free meals inside a missionary house at a slum area in Baseco, Tondo city, metro Manila, Philippines in 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) – About 2.3 million people in the Philippines were pushed into poverty between 2018 and 2021, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). 

The number of people living in poverty in 2021 rose to a total of almost 20 million or 18.1% of the country’s population from 16.7% in 2018, and overshooting the government's target of 15.5%-17.5%, the PSA reported.  

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan set to slash the poverty rate to 9% by 2028 - a target that remains achievable despite soaring inflation.

Balisacan said the government's strategy will focus on fully reopening the economy, investing in human resources and social protection, and transforming production sectors to generate more and quality jobs and competitive products.

The Philippines can reduce poverty incidence by 5 percentage points at midterm, and another 4 percentage points by 2028, he affirmed. 

According to Balisacan, the Southeast Asian country had achieved its goal of lifting 6 million people out of poverty, four years ahead of a 2022 target.

However, COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and the lack of regular jobs for poor labourers had plunged many Philippine back into financial difficulty, he said./.