Statistic board: 9 of 15 poorest provinces are in Mindanao

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


NINE of the 15 poorest provinces in the country are in Mindanao while not a single province on the island is listed in the 14 least poor, according to 2009 statistics.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) data on poorest and least poor provinces are based on the rating of poverty incidence among families in 2009.

NSCB secretary general Romulo A. Virola enumerated the poorest Mindanao provinces as Zamboanga del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Maguindanao, Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao Oriental, Saranggani, Sulu, and Lanao del Norte.

Zamboanga del Norte in Zamboanga Peninsula topped the list with poverty incidence among families of 46 percent, Virola told participants to the 7th Mindanao Statistics Congress held in Davao City recently.

Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte of Caraga Region immediately followed the rank with 43.5 percent and 43.1 percent ratings, respectively.

The provinces of Maguindanao (5th) and Sulu (13th) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) respectively got percentage points of 37.7 percent and 33 percent on poverty incidence.

Another province from Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga Sibugay was 6th on the list with 35.4 percent, while Davao Oriental of Davao Region ranked 9th after gaining a 36.4 percent rating.

At 12th place was Saranggani of Soccsksargen with a score of 34 percent poverty incidence, and Lanao del Norte of Northern Mindanao was the 14th poorest with 31.9 percent rating.

Based on the ranking of these provinces, Virola said Caraga, Armm and Zamboanga Peninsila have become the poorest among the Mindanao regions, while the least poor is Davao Region followed by Northern Mindanao.

The NSCB official recalled that Armm was the least poor in 1991, but drastically has an overturn of status in 2009 about 20 years later. Soccsksargen and Northern Mindanao used to be the poorest.

He said that Caraga remained among the country's poorest, but now has the smallest number of poor families.

Virola stated that poverty incidence in Mindanao between 1991 and 2009 reduced by 2.8 percent among families and 0.3 percent among population.

But he said that despite the decrease in the poverty incidence, "the actual number of the country's poor increased by 465,000 families, and by two and a quarter million individuals, noting that the additional poor families and individuals live in Mindanao" with 430,000 families and 2.4 million individuals.

More than half of these families came from Armm with 146,000 and Zamboanga Peninsula with 105,000, he revealed.

He said that the economically bigger regions of Mindanao, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, "have done better in reducing poverty compared to the smaller regions" namely Zamboanga Peninsula, Caraga and Armm.

With this, he lauded Davao Region and Northern Mindanao for their economic growth, saying, "Our development models might just be working."

But he said that while Northern Mindanao enjoys its economic growth, the region continues to have the biggest number of poor families in Mindanao.

"Could it be that the economic growth of Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) has not trickled down to the poor?" he asked.

Meanwhile, also under NSCB 2009 list of poorest provinces were Eastern Samar (4th) and Northern Samar (10th) of Eastern Visayas, Romblon (7th) of Mimaropa, Masbate (8th) and Camarines Sur (15th) of Bicol Region, and Bohol (11th). (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 24, 2011.

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