Welfare, Inequality and Poverty: How the Country Fared during Erap’s Term as President

Using data drawn from the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) of
1998 and 1999, this paper generates estimates of welfare, inequality,
and poverty measures to assess how the country fared during President
Joseph (Ejercito) Estrada's term. The results indicate that while the
national average living standard improved slightly, no measurable gains
were achieved in inequality and poverty.

President Joseph Ejercito Estrada was elected into office in 1998 with
an overwhelming mandate under the lavishly expansive, catchy, and
ubiquitous campaign slogan that subsequently became his
administration's mantra, Erap para sa mahihirap. Announcing poverty
eradication as his administration's primary goal and adopting
anti-poverty programs as the centerpiece of Angat Pinoy, his
administration's medium-term
development plan, he claimed in sorties throughout the country (not the
least of which were to squatter communities during the turbulent months
leading to his impeachment trial) that his heart was always with and
for the poor. The question then that begs to be asked at this time,
just barely a month after President Estrada was deposed, is, How did
the country—and the poor in particular—fare during Erap's term in
office?

This paper seeks to answer the question by generating and analyzing
estimates of measures of welfare, inequality, and poverty for the first
two years of the Estrada administration, using data drawn from the
Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) of 1998 and 1999 of the
National Statistics Office (NSO). It finds that while the national
average living standard improved slightly in 1999 compared to 1998, the
indices
were unable to show measurable gains in inequality and poverty.

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