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Philippine Poverty

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“Poverty is a significant problem, and in combination with high income inequality, it poses a serious threat to stability in the Philippines. The proportion of the population living below US$1.25 a day in 2006 was 23 percent or around 20 million people. At the same time, about 44 percent or over 40 million Filipinos were living on less than US$2 a day. While the Philippines was able to reduce poverty incidence from as high as 30 percent in the early 1990s, the actual number of people living in poverty has increased over the last two decades. The global food and fuel price crises in 2007 and 2008, and the global economic crisis that followed, are estimated to have pushed even more people into poverty.

Economic growth in the Philippines has been unable to lift many of the rural poor out of poverty who traditionally rely on the agricultural sector for employment and typically have less access to basic services, lower levels of education and larger families to support. Even during periods of stronger economic growth, such as 2004–2008, poverty continued to rise. Various factors have contributed to the lack of progress on poverty reduction in the Philippines. Some of these are:

  • high population growth, which averaged 2 percent annually over the past decade, and places additional strain on the cost of household living and demand for basic services
  • income inequality, which increased in the 1990s and remains relatively high—the poorest 20 percent of the population accounting for only 5 percent of total income or consumption
  • inability of the government to provide sufficient basic services, especially to people in poorer remote regions
  • vulnerability of poorer communities to natural disasters and civil unrest which adversely affects livelihoods.”

Source: Australian Government. 2010. Sept. 15, 2010. <>



Books (c 1962-2007)


Gwekoh, Sol H. Diosdado Macapagal : Triumph Over Poverty: the Common Man from Pampanga who became the president of the Philippines. Manila: G & G Enter prise, 1962. DS 686.6 M1G9

Lichauco, Alejandro. Towards a New Economic Order and the Conquest of Mass Poverty. Quezon City : SSP, 1986. HC 456.5 L53

Lopez-Gonzaga, Violeta B. Crisis and Poverty in Sugarlandia : the Case of Bacolod City. Bacolod : La Salle Social Research Center, 1985. HV 4145 B3L6

———. Depth of Field : Photographs of Poverty, Repression, and Struggle in the Philippines. Manila : Photobank Phils. and NCCP/ Human Rights Desk , 1987. HV 4145 A5D46

———-. Faces of Philippine Poverty : Four Cases from the Visayas. Manila : Visayas Research Consortium, Philippine Social Sci, 1986. HV 4145 A6V54

———-. Understanding Poverty : the Poor Talk About What it Means to be Poor. Makati City : Institute for People Power and Development, 2007. 339.46 U55 2007


Goldin, Ian. Globalization for Development : Trade, Finance, Aid, Migration, and Policy. rev. ed. Wasihington, DC: World Bank, 2007. 337 G619 2007

Myrdal, Gunnar M. The Challenge of World Poverty; a World Anti-Poverty Programme in Out-line. Harmond worth, Middlesex : Penguin Books, 1971. HC 59.7 M926 1971

Sachs, Jeffrey D. The End of Poverty : Eco- nomic Possibilities for our Time. New York : Penguin Group, 2006. 339.46 S121 2006


Free Web Sources

Austria, Myrna S. The Philippines in the Global Trading Environment: Looking Back and the Road Ahead.


BBC News. Philippine Poverty.

Causes of Poverty in the Philippines.

Institute for Labor Studies. Studies on the Philippine Poverty-Free Zones Program (PFZP).

Reyes, Celia M. The Poverty Fight: Have We Made an Impact?

Reyes, Celia M. and Lani E. Valencia. Poverty Reduction Strategy and Poverty Monitoring: Philippine Case Study.

[All Retrieved: September 13, 2010]


Scholarly/Academic Internet

Search Engines

Google Scholar

Academic Index

Librarian's Index to the Internet


National Economic and Development Authority.

National Statistical Coordination Board.

Philippine Journals Online.


Online Subscriptions

EBSCOHOST — is a full text online research databases which ranges from general reference collections to specifically designed, subject specific databases for public, academic, medical, corporate and school libraries. (on campus use only)


Gale Virtual Reference Library — is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. (on campus use only)

JSTOR — offers high quality archives of over one thousand leading, academic journals across the humanities, social science, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. (on campus use only)

Philippine Studies Online—a quarterly journal on Philippine history, literature, and society (on campus use only)


Note: For more library online subscriptions, visit Rizal Library’s Website at




This pathfinder contains suggested materials dealing with poverty in the Philippines that are available at the Ateneo de Manila High School Library and online. In any case, some references were not included.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 July 2012 15:19

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