The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) this week claimed that the country’s rich-poor gap was narrowing, citing the thinning ratio between the incomes of the top 30% and the bottom 30% of Filipino families. But independent think-tank IBON Foundation says that this does not mean that the Philippines ‘ broad income inequalities are improving.

Data from the government’s 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey show that the bottom 30% of families had 8.6% of total family income in 2006 while the top 30% Filipino families accounted for 64.7 percent. This barely changed from 2003, when the bottom 30% had an 8.5% share and the top 30%, 64.7 percent.

In fact, the data used by the NSCB itself indicates that the top 30% Filipino families earned P7.53 for every P1 earned by the bottom 30 percent.

Thus, the gap between rich and poor in the country remains wide, and in fact, may even grow further as the Arroyo government continues to pursue its globalization policies. Such policies have resulted in an unparalleled decline in the people’s welfare and the further escalation of widespread poverty in the Philippines