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Philippines: life on the bread line

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 01:45

May 2 - Daily battle to make ends meet for families at the sharp end of the Philippines' income inequality divide. Paul Chapman reports.

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Fe Capco has five children to support. She makes about 100 U.S. dollars a month washing clothes in Manila. Her husband was a taxi driver until he went blind. The family is one of many in the Philippines at the sharp end of the income inequality divide. Yet they're better off than some - they get small government grants under a scheme to help the very worst-off. SOUNDBITE: FE CAPCO SAYING (Filipino): "It's really difficult because I'm the sole bread winner. I struggle hard. My in-laws help out and give us some help for food." The population of the Philippines is well on the way to 100 million. A quarter of its people live below the poverty line. The income inequality crisis is under the spotlight at the Asian Development Bank's annual board of governors' meeting in Manila. SOUNDBITE: ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK VICE PRESIDENT FOR KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, BINDU LOHANI, SAYING (English): "We've been seeing that while Asia has grown quite well in the past the inequality between rich and poor is widening." Such inequality is on the rise in 11 nations, which together account for more than 80 percent of Asia's population. That list includes China, India and Indonesia whose huge economies are driving much of the growth. An International Monetary Fund report is warning the recent period of growth in Asia has been both less inclusive and less in favour of the poor. In the Philippines, so-called conditional cash transfer grants for the very poorest are helping. Recipients get up to 33 dollars a month - a fortune for those who face a daily battle to survive on the bread line. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Philippines: life on the bread line

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 01:45