With all due respect to Sec. Pernia, it is impossible for the country to breach the USD 3,956 mark by 2019.
The latest data is that of 2017 (because 2018 is not yet done, if you have not noticed) at USD 3,660. Even if our economy grew at 5% this year, with the population constant (it is not), we would still be below the threshold by end of 2018.
No amount of optimism could fix an ailing economy when the fundamentals are weak.
Besides, a more worthy goal is not just to reach middle income level for the entire country, but to distribute wealth within the country more equitably. Imoha na lang nang kadato sa nasod kon ang kadato alang lamang sa pipila.