In reaction to the latest poverty statistics reported by the NSCB which showed that poverty in the country has not changed from 2009 to 2012, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights urged the Aquino administration to resolve joblessness and low wages in order to alleviate poverty.

Daisy Arago, CTUHR executive director said, “We are not surprised at all that the poverty statistics did not improve—and this is despite the government already lowering the poverty threshold—precisely because joblessness is still prevalent even if there is economic growth.”

On Wednesday, the NSCB released the result of the 2012 poverty survey that showed poverty incidence at 27.9 percent, hardly an improvement from the 28.6 percent poverty incidence in 2009.

“Addressing unemployment and precarious jobs is a necessary step in order to lessen poverty. Giving the people significant wage hike could definitely increase family income and provide relief to many ailing Filipinos,” Arago said.

“And in order to create decent jobs, the government cannot rely on its labor export policy and volatile industries such like construction and BPOs. Even institutions that promote neoliberal policies like the ADB agree to this,” Arago added.

The group also urged the government to adopt a policy that aims to develop agriculture by implementing genuine agrarian reform and to build strong national industries “so that growth will not only trickle down to Filipinos in the lower strata of society but will directly benefit the poor.“

In addition, Arago also pointed out that the government should scrap its labor and economic policies that favor investors over the common good of most Filipinos. “The poor are ones hit the hardest by policies that allow labor contractualization and privatization of social services. These policies should be ended if the government seriously intends to cut down poverty,“ Arago averred.###