NSCB: Many Pinoys remain poor due to disasters

MANILA, Philippines - Natural disasters like typhoons kept many poor Filipinos below the poverty line, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said as it released Philippine poverty data for the first half of 2012.

In a presentation on Tuesday, April 23, NSCB Secretary General Jose Ramon Albert said disasters were "a threat to development."

"For 2011, extreme events that affected our countrymen, especially the poor, were typhoons Pedring and Sendong. In the first quarter of 2012, we should also remember that Negros Oriental was affected by an earthquake of magnitude 6.9. In addition, practically the entire country was affected by low pressure area and continuous rain, also in the first quarter of 2012," he said.

These were the disasters that affected the country from 2011 to the first semester of 2012, and the amount of damage they caused:

The country's poverty incidence in the first semester of 2012 was 27.9%, practically unchanged from 28.6% in 2009 and 28.8% in 2006. 

The 16 poorest provinces, the NSCB said, were mainly in Mindanao. The NSCB said the income of the top 20% of Filipino families was 8 times the total income of families in the bottom 20% during the years 2006, 2009, and 2012.

Positive events

Albert however said poverty could have been worse without positive events. These events include the increase in the coverage of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), touted as the government's main anti-poverty program, and increase in the salaries of government employees through the Salary Standardization Law.

CCT household beneficiaries rose to 3.1 million in 2012 from 777,505 in 2009. - Rappler.com