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2.7 Million More Filipinos Could Sink Into Poverty This Year

The World Bank is hopeful that the Philippine economy could recover beginning next year.
IMAGE JEROME ASCAÑO
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Back in August, we reported a study that said 1.5 million Filipinos could fall back to poverty due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sadly, current projections have surpassed that initial number by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

The latest study by the World Bank now puts the number at 2.7 million Filipinos. You read that right: 2.7 million Filipinos may sink into poverty in 2020. The study, published in the Philippines Economic Update report, sees the poverty rate rising to 22.6 percent from 20.5 percent last year—essentially reversing the recent gains our economy has made.

"The expected growth contraction in 2020 is likely to increase poverty in the short term, resulting in an additional 2.7 million poor people in 2020," says World Bank senior economist Rong Qian. "The poor and vulnerable, many of whom work in the informal sector, are especially likely to experience significant welfare losses, given their limited capacity to manage risks."

The economists pointed to the containment measures that the government put in place were the cause of the country's poverty rate's rise. This has resulted in job losses, business activity slowdown, and more.

The World Bank is hopeful, however, that the Philippine economy could recover beginning next year. That is, if COVID-19 dissipates and business activity returns to normal. Still, the economists behind the study say that it won't be a fast rebound.

In other news—not that it's a competition or anything—the Vietnamese will be richer than Filipinos before the year ends. The International Monetary Fund or IMF projected that the per capita income of the Vietnamese will be $3,497.51, overtaking Filipinos with $3,372.53.

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So, yeah. That's where we're at right now.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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