Mindanao has 11 of 20 Poorest Provinces in the Philippines

    MANILA, Philippines - The top 11 of 20 poorest provinces in the country are in Mindanao, with Lanao del Sur leading the way with a 74.3 percent poverty incidence according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report on the country’s official poverty statistics for the first semester of 2015.

    Mindanao region

    Lanao del Sur's poverty incidence or the proportion of people below the poverty line to the total population in 2015 is up by 7 percent from 67.3 in 2014.

    Meanwhile, PSA on Friday, March 18, added that poverty incidence among Filipinos in 2015 was estimated at 26.3 percent. During the same period in 2012, poverty incidence among Filipinos was recorded at 27.9 percent.

    On the other hand, subsistence incidence among Filipinos, or the proportion of Filipinos whose incomes fall below the food threshold, was estimated at 12.1 percent in the first semester of 2015. In the first half of 2012, the subsistence incidence among Filipinos is at 13.4 percent. Subsistence incidence among Filipinos is often referred to as the proportion of Filipinos in extreme or subsistence poverty.

    Other provinces in Mindanao included in the list were Sulu, Sarangani, Maguindanao, Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and Zamboanga Sibugay.

    Meanwhile, six were in Visayas, namely Northern Samar, Siquijor, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte and Negros Oriental.

    The three provinces in Luzon were Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Mt. Province.

    The 20 poorest provinces in the country in the first semester of 2015:

    1. Lanao del Sur (ARMM) - 74.3%
    2. Sulu (ARMM) - 65.7%
    3. Sarangani (Region 12) - 61.7%
    4. Northern Samar (Region 8) - 61.6%
    5. Maguindanao (ARMM) - 59.4%
    6. Bukidnon (Region 10) - 58.7%
    7. Sultan Kudarat (Region 12) - 56.2%
    8. Zamboanga del Norte (Region 9) - 56.1%
    9. Siquijor (Region 7) - 55.2%
    10. Agusan del Sur (Caraga) - 54.8%
    12/11. Eastern Samar (Region 8) - 50.0%
    12/11. Lanao del Norte (Region 10) - 50.0%
    13. Mt. Province (CAR) - 49.9%
    14. Western Samar (Region 8) - 49.5%
    15. North Cotabato (Region 12) - 48.9%
    16. Catanduanes (Region 5) - 47.8%
    17. Leyte (Region 8) - 46.7%
    18. Negros Oriental (Region 7) - 46.6%
    19. Zamboanga Sibugay (Region 9) - 44.9%
    20. Sorsogon (Region 5) - 44.8%

    The problem exists despite Mindanao's vast natural resources, which remained untapped until now due to the decades-long conflict in the region and the alleged deprivation of budget allocation for the infrastructures.

    In 2014, Senator Bam Aquino said that things will turn for the better for Mindanao with the imminent passage of the Bangsamoro political entity and the ASEAN Integration.

    During the first presidential debate held in February 21 in Cagayan de Oro, the presidentiables tackled issues of poverty and peace and order agenda in Mindanao. Duterte also highlighted that there was disproportionate funding for Mindanao compared to Manila.
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