It's an exhausting day for this young girl who bikes off with her brother looking for useful trash as they navigate the tight road along C. Bangoy corner Palmagil, Davao City.

This photo was taken in July 2014 showing a young girl with her brother looking for useful trash as they navigate the tight road along C. Bangoy corner Palma Gil, Davao City. (Medel V. Hernani/

DAVAO CITY — Half of all Filipino women live below poverty line, according to a study conducted by the Center for Women’s Resources.

In a statement on Thursday, Mary Joan A. Guan, executive director of CWR said their Ulat Lila 2016 indicated that women and children “continue to be the face of poverty” despite the government pronouncements of a growing economy and a 6.2 percent average Gross Domestic Product growth.

Guan said their report showed that poverty incidence among Filipino women reached 25.6 percent in the average while the poverty incidence among children reached 35.2 percent  in 2012.

“The rate of poverty was higher in the regions. In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), five in every 10 women and six in every 10 children lived below the poverty line. On the national average, one in every four Filipinos is considered poor,” said Guan.

On the other hand, the Ulat Lila also revealed only a few families benefit from the country’s economic growth through their partnership with the Aquino administration in the essential industries operating in the country.

“For instance, the richest man Henry Sy ($14.4 B net worth) got the public-private partnership (PPP) contract for school infrastructure, the Ayala family ($3.5 B networth) acquired the contract for automated fare collection system, and Lucio Tan ($4.3 B net worth) obtained the Mactan-Cebu airport project,” said Guan.

With these figures, CWR rebutted the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which estimated that that a family of five would need ₱8,778 per month or only ₱58.52 per family member per day to stay out of poverty is still a conservative estimate.

Guan said “no family member can live with ₱58.52 per day.”

“How could a family survive on ₱292 per day and still live decently? A kilo of regular milled rice already costs at least ₱38.00, a kilo of galunggong (used to be known as poor man’s fish) is at ₱140.00, and price of vegetables shoots up from time to time. Families still need to spend for transportation, utility bills, educational and health expenses,” she said.

Guan also stressed that persistent scarcity situated women at a disadvantage and they constantly struggled to make ends meet.

“For the past six years, their demands to get regular jobs and decent wages, to gain access to social services, and to become productive members of society, stayed as a demand,” remarked Guan.

Guan said that on the coming elections, women need to look for leaders “who have the moral fiber and patriotic sentiment of eradicating a framework that puts profit over people.” (

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