MANILA, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government is addressing the widening inequality between the rich and poor through pouring in more funds on education and other social services, a senior government official said Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda issued the statement in response to the report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) saying that despite the economic growth in some Asian countries, such as the Philippines, the gap between the rich and the poor continued to widen.
"The key to reducing inequality is better education, better healthcare, social safety nets and higher and broader economic growth specially in agriculture," Lacierda said in a news briefing.
This was the reason why the Aquino administration has increased the education budgets by about 50 percent, healthcare by around 80 percent, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) by over 260 percent, infrastructure by over 30 percent, agriculture by around 80 percent, he explained.
"With better tax compliance, we will be able to pour more resources in the war against poverty and inequality," he stressed.
Lacierda said the effort of the government is to ensure that the bottom of the pyramid is raised to the level of self sufficiency.
Thus, he said the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster of the Cabinet is working on asset reform and education to ensure that poor people will not be victimized and they will have a better than equal chance to compete in the labor market.
The ADB report said that Asian governments should make education more accessible to the poor people and that there should be better taxation to finance inclusive growth.