More Filipinos poor, Arroyo adviser admits

Salceda: Rich also became richera

MANILA, Philippines—The rich have gotten richer, but the ranks of the poor have expanded amid the economic growth since 2001, an economic adviser of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Sunday.

“My biggest frustration as a presidential adviser is that 34 quarters of uninterrupted expansion in the past nine years did little to reduce poverty and the number of poor people,” Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said in an interview.

While the Arroyo administration continued to crank out glowing economic growth data, “these rosy figures cannot hide the fact that there are more poor people now than when the President started her term,” Salceda said.

He cited data from the National Statistical Coordination Board which showed that the number of poor Filipinos—five-member families living on a little more than P1,200 a month—rose to 27.60 million in 2006 from 25.47 million in 2001.

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