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Philippines on track with economic growth target, but facing challenges in cutting poverty

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MANILA, Philippines - A senior official says the Philippines is on track to achieve its target of economic growth averaging 7-8 per cent for the next several years.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Monday that challenges remain in cutting poverty, increasing investment and creating quality jobs.

The government has a six-year development plan through to 2016 that hopes to spread the benefits of economic growth to the country's poor.

Apart from the growth target, the government wants to reduce unemployment to 6.5-6.7 per cent and slash poverty to 18-20 per cent of the population from 25.2 per cent.

The economy grew 7.2 per cent last year despite a series of disasters including Typhoon Haiyan.

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