Bangkok, Aug 15 (EFE).- Poverty in the Philippines reached 18.1 percent of the population in 2021, or 19.99 million people, as a consequence of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which halted progress made in the country in recent years.
According to data released Monday by the National Statistics Authority, Filipinos living below the poverty line rose from 16.7 percent in 2018 to 18.1 percent in 2021, hit especially by the effects of the harsh measures adopted in the country in an attempt to stop the coronavirus.
The report adds that 5.9 percent of the more than 109 million inhabitants of the archipelago did not have enough income in 2021 to satisfy even their “basic food needs,” compared to 5.2 percent registered three years ago.
Also, about 3.5 million families, or 13.2 percent, were considered poor last year, while 3.9 percent lived below the poverty line, equivalent to 1.04 million people.
The figures represent a change in trend with respect to the progress the Philippines had made in recent years in reducing poverty in the country, which had stipulated a goal of reducing it to 14 percent of the population in 2022.
However, the Covid-19 emergency forced the archipelago to adopt one of the longest and most severe confinements in the world, in addition to closing its borders for almost two years, which plunged the country into a social and economic crisis.
The Philippines only reopened its borders in February, to revive the important tourism sector, as the country slowly recovers from the recession registered two years ago.
In 2020, the Philippine gross domestic product plummeted by 9.57 percent, while in 2021 the economy of the archipelago recovered part of the losses suffered by expanding by 5.6 percent. EFE