The provincial government has identified the prevalent incidence of poverty among indigenous communities as the main contributor to the entire province’s high poverty incidence statistics.
Governor Jose Alvarez said they are currently conducting a comprehensive survey of indigenous communities throughout the province with the aim of uplifting their economic conditions.
Governor Jose Alvarez, in a recent planning conference, acknowledged that based on the provincial government’s statistical studies, poverty remains prevalent among indigenous communities and is the primary factor for the estimated 53 percent poverty incidence in the entire province.
During the recently concluded provincial roadshow for the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and MIMAROPA Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 at the VJR Hall in Capitol, Governor Alvarez said they will step up economic interventions among indigenous peoples (IP) communities to lower the overall poverty incidence rate.
Provincial Planning and Development Office Chief Ninfa B. Rubio said the survey would help them identify proper intervention for IPs whom she said has been hardly reached by social protection programs of the government such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s 4P’s, PhilHealth, among others.
The survey has two components: socio-economic component which seeks to identify the social and economic condition; and geographic profiling which aims to identify their location.
“Yan ang purpose ng ating inventory para ma-provide natin at ma-expand natin ang coverage unang-una ng (ating) social protection programs,” Rubio said.
The PPDO chief said the inventory will also be useful in locating IPs that need reliable potable water and power supply.
“Ibig sabihin kung naimbentaryo na natin yan at alam natin kung saan sila nakatira madali na natin silang mabibigyan ng mga gamot, we can design (kung) papaano sila magkakaroon ng potable water supply at electricity at upang mapabilang sila sa priority beneficiaries ng individual solar home system distribution,” she said.
The PPDO categorized the poor into two: food poor which covers IPs and income poor which covers farmers and fisher folks.
Rubio said the provincial government targets to uplift the IPs from food poor to income poor, by giving them livelihood opportunities like raising goat, livestock and poultry. This intervention is expected to address the high malnutrition prevalence rate among IPs.
To ensure they have food to feed for the animals they tend, the provincial government will teach and encourage them to plant napier grass.
The provincial government has already finished the inventory in Brooke’s Point and Bataraza.