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Poverty incidence in ARMM eases in 2015 

COTABATO CITY – Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) show poverty incidence in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 2015 at 53.7%, or 2.1 percentage points improvement from the 55.8% recorded in 2012. The PSA report provides estimates of poverty incidence using income data from the first and second visits under the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) conducted in July 2015 and January 2016.
 
The province of Tawi-Tawi recorded the lowest poverty incidence in the survey among 26 provinces in Mindanao posting 12.6% while Lanao del Sur has the highest at 71.9%. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman underscored that poverty alleviation is his administration’s top priority this year. He said P4-billion has been earmarked this year for various programs and projects aimed at eliminating hunger and malnutrition in the region.
 
Lisa Grace Bernales, PSA’s civil registrar general, said there is a gradual decline in poverty incidence in the region but the figure is lower than what was expected by the ARMM regional government. “The basis of our poverty statistics is income, and incomes of households respond very slowly to the interventions, but I feel that it’s a good start,” said Bersales.
 
Subsistence incidence in the region was estimated at 21.1 %. In 2012, it was recorded at 25.1% an improvement of four percentage points. Subsistence incidence among Filipinos refers to as the proportion of Filipinos in extreme or subsistence poverty. PSA also releases statistics on poverty among families – a crucial social indicator that guides policy makers in efforts to alleviate poverty. Based on the first and second survey visits in 2015 in ARMM, poverty among families was estimated at 48.2% from 49.7% in 2012.
 
“Poverty statistics is the most controversial because poverty is multi-dimensional, very complex situation, and our official poverty statistics, for now, focuses on one dimension, which is income,” Bersales said.
 
Atty. Laisa Alamia, ARMM’s Executive Secretary, said the region’s target poverty incidence is to reduce the rate to 30% in three years. “Our target is to improve the living conditions of our households para ma-reduce ang poverty,” Atty. Alamia said. (Bureau of Public Information)

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