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PIA Press Release

October 17 is International Day for Eradication of Poverty

by A. Lumaque

Roxas City (15 October) -- The United Nations Assemby has declared every October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty to create awareness in "the promotion of the eradication of poverty and destitution."

The 15-year old declaration urges all the countries to devote the day by presenting and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities on the elimination of extreme poverty.

In time of the upcoming day, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said during the launching of the 2007 MDG Report and the Philippines Midterm Progress Report that the "ratio of Filipinos living in extreme poverty has been drastically cut from 20.4 percent in 1990 to 10.2 percent in 2006."

The government started its commitments to the MDG in 2000 which ends in 2015.

While expressing elation that poverty in the country is down, the President admitted, however, that "we have a long way to go. But only through a strong economy can we improve the plight of the poor, our education and our health."

She said that poverty reduction is her overarching goal and that she intends to focus on attaining it during the remaining three years of her term.

The Chief Executive said she was heartened that of the 15 indicators, the Philippines is doing well in 10 because it's one of the few countries where the MDGs are "really internalized in the economic reforms reflected in our Medium-Term Development Plan."

She pointed out that her immediate goal is to reduce the incidence of poverty by half and meet all the country's MDG commitments by 2015. (PIA) [top]

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