By ANNA MAE Y. LAMENTILLO
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), poverty incidence among Filipinos has decreased by 6.6 percentage points, from 27.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to 21 percent in the first half of 2018.
In the report of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), this is largely attributable to the sustained economic grown and broad-based reforms and investments that have translated to employment generation and social protection.
And while inflation rose by three percentage points, from 7.8 percent in 2012-2015 to 8.1 percent in the period of 2015 to 2017 — average income has accelerated from 15.3 percent to 21.2 percent.
According to NEDA Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro, the growth in per-capita income of the bottom 30 percent of households picked up significantly to 29.2 percent in the 2015-2018 period from only 20.6 percent in the 2012-2015 period. This implies an increase in real incomes of the poor, which has helped in reducing poverty among Filipino families and individuals.
For instance, the growth in the construction and manufacturing sectors led to the increase in employment opportunities for Filipino.
According to PSA, the construction industry grew by 21.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, faster than the 4.3 percent growth recorded in the previous year.
6,157 km of roads completed
According to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, the agency constructed, maintained, improved, and rehabilitated a total of 6,157 kilometers of national roads from July, 2016, to December, 2018.
Among the big-ticket projects completed during this period was the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, a 5.65-kilometer elevated expressway which reduced travel time from Karuhatan in Valenzuela to C3 road in Caloocan
Among the major accomplishments were:
(1) The Laguna Lake Expressway, a 10.6-km toll-free expressway which reduced travel time from Taytay Rizal to Bicutan by 50%, from one hour to only 30 minutes.
(2) The NLEX Harbor Link, a 5.58-km, 6-lane divided elevated expressway connecting C3 in Caloocan and Karuhatan in Valenzuela within 5 minutes.
(3) The Cagayan de Oro Coastal Road, a 12.77-km bypass road which reduced travel time from Laguindingan Airport to city proper to only 20 minutes.
(4) The Laoag City Bypass, a 7.99-km four-lane highway project designed to divert traffic at Laoag City proper and reduce travel time from 45 minutes to only 10 minute from the west central part of Ilocos Norte.
(5) The 4.1 km Boracay Circumferential Road.
Villar also said that since the start of the Duterte administration, the agency has completed 2,680 newly constructed, widened, retrofitted, rehabilitated, and strengthened bridges.
Among the major accomplishments:
The Davao River Bridge (Ma-a Bridge), a 227-meter bridge which reduced travel time from Ulas to Buhangin from 80 minutes to only 30 minutes, benefitting about 31,576 motorists.
The Plaridel Bypass, a 24.61-km bypass road including 11 bridges, which traverses the municipalities of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Bustos, and San Rafael in Bulacan and connects NLEX with Maharlika Highway.
The Lucban Bridge, a 825 bridge which reduced travel time from Tuguegarao City in Cagayan to Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte from five hours to only four hours and 30 minutes.
RunWay Manila, a 220-meters long foot bridge designed to accommodate up to 2,000 persons at any time, or up to 216,000 individuals per day arriving from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
The Governor Bridge, a 650 -meter bridge which reduced travel time from Davao City to Tagum by 20 minutes.
3,066 flood mitigation structures completed
Since July, 2016, a total of 3,066 flood mitigation structures have also been completed.
Among the major accomplishments:
The Pasig Marikina River Channel Project, which decreased flood inundation by 18% spanning an area equivalent to 750 hectares and reduced flood damages by 14.3 billion.
The Mandaluyong Main Drainage Project, which protected a total of 180 hectares, including four major roads: Boni Avenue East and West, San Francisco Street, and Martinez Road.
Two pumping stations in in the area of Valenzuela – Obando – Meycauayan.
Quezon Avenue Road and Flood Control Project, which will increase the capacity of Tanque Creek by 112 percent.