What is the conclusion of poverty in the Philippines?

CONCLUSIONS ANDRECOMMENDATIONS The design of practical and effective policies for raising living standards requires the formulation of a comprehensive social development strategy t

What is the conclusion of poverty in the Philippines?


The design of practical and effective policies for raising living standards requires the formulation of a comprehensive social development strategy that covers the immediate needs, as well as the medium and long-term needs. This responsibility does not rest with the Ministry of Social Affairs alone, nor with any specific group of ministries. It is rather a collective responsibility of all the parties involved in the development process, with a special role for the government, including the entities concerned with the formulation of overall economic and social policies. In light of such a strategy, it is possible to identify the specific responsibilities to be entrusted to the various ministries, and the complementarity of their work, as well as the responsibilities that are the domain of the private and civil sectors.

In this context, a distinction ought to be made between two types of interventions.

The first type concerns interventions that deal with the direct effects of deprivation. This type of intervention takes place in the immediate term, and is directed at dealing with the consequences of deprivation rather than with its causes; without implying that it has no enabling ingredients. Furthermore, this type of intervention targets socially weak or vulnerable categories (the handicapped, households that have women as head, very poor families...); or it targets a specific and well-defined deprived region.

Interventions involving the Ministry of Social Affairs are primarily of this type. Its tools include the services centers attached to it, the human resources at its disposal, and the various projects which it undertakes, both of the welfare type (social services) or the enabling type (all sorts of training and income-generating projects).

The second type of intervention takes place at the level of formulating macro-economic and social policies, and is the responsibility of the government as a whole and society. It is of the preventive kind and deals with the underlying causes of poverty. It includes interventions ranging from economic and social legislation (taxes, fees, labor legislation, etc.) to sectoral policies (wage and price policies, and demographic, education and health policies, etc); and integrated development programs (rural development programs, program for the return of the displaced).

The elaboration of a strategy having such a wide scope requires commensurate scientific and accurate information. The Mapping of Living Conditions Study is a step in this direction. The study, however, is closer to the first type of intervention. Other aspects should be the subject of separate studies that adopt methodologies appropriate to the topics being studied, such as household income and expenditure studies, and studies which adopt the poverty line methodology.

In light of the results of this study, the following recommendations could be reached:First: On Subsequent StudiesEndeavor to exploit the results of the various surveys and studies that were issued in recent months, and those to be issued subsequently. This means:

  • Comparing the results of the different studies, and proceeding to establish a unified database.
  • Full exploitation of the available information through the preparation of general and sectoral analytical studies, to help in the formulation of sectoral policies and national and local programs.
  • Utilization of available information through the collection and analysis of data for each kada, or specific geographic region, with a view to designing interventions at the local level.
  • Identifying aspects which were not covered by these studies, and restricting subsequent studies to these neglected aspects to avoid repetition..Second: On priorities of Intervention at the National Level

The study revealed the existence of two issues at the national level deserving priority attention:a) Regional disparities. The study brought out the seriousness of disparities between the center and the periphery, and among the kadas. These disparities encompass aspects related to the physical infrastructure and public utilities, economic activity and employment opportunities as well as social structure and demographic characteristics. This imbalance is the reason behind the persistent tendency for displacement from the rural areas in the direction of cities and their suburbs, especially the capital Beirut.Recommendations:

  • Elaboration of a national strategy for rural development with the aim of halting the mechanisms that generate regional disparities.
  • Promotion of decentralization of private sector economic activity, including a more balanced distribution of financial resources for investment.
  • Promotion of agriculture and agro-industries based on domestic agricultural output.
  • Prompt intervention through local development programs in the more deprived areas.b) Gap between incomes and the cost of livingThe study shows that deprivation, as manifested by the income-related indicators, is more widely spread and acute than that related to the availability of physical and social services. This is particularly evident in the gap between income levels and the cost of living.
    A distinctive feature of Lebanon as compared with other countries, especially neighboring ones, is the basic role which the private sector assumes in two crucial social sectors: education and health care. This renders the monetary equivalent of the basket of commodities and services considered as basic needs (i.e. the poverty line) high in Lebanon relative to income levels. This situation raises the percentage of households falling in the low satisfaction category. To resolve this problem, the gap between incomes and expenditure needs to be reduced, whether by increasing incomes or reducing the cost of living, or by a proper mix of the two.Recommendations:
  • Restore the balance between the roles of the public and private sectors in the fields of education and health care to reduce the share of these items in household spending; ultimately achieving free and mandatory basic education, free primary health care, and more efficient preventive medicine.
  • Elaboration of a flexible and appropriate wage and income policy consistent with the level of prices.
  • Formulation of an effective employment policy conducive to the creation of new employment opportunities, and protecting the Lebanese labor force from unfair competition.Third: Recommendations at the Sectoral Levela) Housing

The study shows that the majority of Lebanese households own the house in which they live, especially in the rural areas. It also shows that the origins of problems in this field are many, of which the most important are the small area of the dwelling and limited number of rooms, especially in the case of households in the lower satisfaction category; the high cost of acquiring a house, whether through building, buying or renting; regional disparities in demand and its concentration in the capital and its suburbs; differences in the actual and legislative status of leased dwellings, depending on the date of lease, and stagnation of the rent market; and disparity between the structure of supply and demand for housing, leading to the emergence of the vacancy phenomenon.


  • Formulation of a comprehensive housing policy which takes into account the elements mentioned above.
  • � Avoidance of ready-made and standard solutions in dealing with housing problems, and designing specific-problem interventions:-Drawing up special policy interventions to govern the standing contractual relationship between tenants and owners, since the beneficiaries from the extension of such contracts are the tenants.
    -Interventions and special programs in favor of young people seeking to set up new and independent households.
    -Differentiation of interventions and programs as between rural and urban settings.
    -Designing special programs to improve the specifications of the dwelling and its area in the case of deprived households that own the dwelling in which they live.b) Water and SewerageThe level of satisfaction of needs in this field is better than in the other fields investigated in the study, with no important disparities observed among the Lebanese, as these services are provided to citizens through the public sector. Hence, the need to place the emphasis on raising the standard of services in the deprived enclaves, and improving their quality.


  • Raise the standard of water and sewerage services in the deprived regions and enclaves to the national standard.
  • Control the quality of potable water, and prevent its contamination at the source or during carriage in the network.
  • Ascertain the number of water-feed hours, and increase them gradually.
  • Ascertain the specifications of pits used to collect human refuse and secretions, and shift gradually to the use the sewers network.
  • Treatment of sewage water before discharging it into rivers and the sea.
  • Raise the population awareness of the need to protect water resources and their rational exploitation.c) Education

Three aspects are paramount in the field of education, namely: reducing the cost of education, improving its quality, and direct intervention in the regions with low indicators of education.


  • Gradual expansion of the absorptive capacity of public schools in the context of a comprehensive strategy to achieve free and mandatory basic education.
  • Improvement of the quality of education, programs and teaching methods; and strengthening the link between the output of the education system and labor market needs.
  • Bring together programs designed to reduce school drop-out at the elementary and intermediate levels, and illiteracy eradication programs in regions where such action is needed.
  • Increase the number of free kindergartens in the public and civil sectors.d) Health Care


  • Activation of the role of the public sector in the formulation of health policies and provision of services, and control of the quality and cost of health care services provided by the private sector.
  • Harmonization of the operations of health insurance systems, expansion of the scope and quality of services, simplifying formalities and modernization of their management.
  • Coordination of public and private sector efforts to provide free, or quasi-free, primary health care services, including benefits from the existing network of social and health centers, societies' centers and medical schools' programs.
  • Emphasis on preventive measures and health awareness.e)Income-related indicators

Improvements in income indicators depend primarily on macro-economic and wage policies. This, however, does not obviate the need for issue-specific interventions.


  • Adoption of measures to create an environment conducive to the establishment and growth of small and medium enterprise (loans and banking facilities, discounts, legislative incentives,...).
  • Modernization and expansion of the scope of vocational rehabilitation and training.
  • Promotion of income-generating projects.Fourth: Priorities for Regional Intervention


  • Priority to intervention in the more deprived kadas, especially Akkar, El-Minieh/El-Dinnieh, kadas in the occupied zone and Western Bekaa.
  • Accord greater priority to the phenomenon of deprivation in the cities and suburbs, which have the largest concentration of deprived households (Beirut and its southern and northern suburbs, Tripoli, Tyre..)

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