Palawan is the province with the highest number of poor families in the entire Mindoro Marinduque Romblon and Palawan (MIMAROPA) region, according to the latest data collected by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The findings was the highlight of the result of the department’s Listahanan program, which also showed the towns of Balabac, Rizal, Bataraza and Quezon as having the most number of poor families in the province.
The DSWD presented its findings during a consultation dialogue with local officials on October 11.
According to the DSWD data, Palawan has 91, 951 poor households, followed by Oriental Mindoro with 55, 363, Occidental Mindoro with 39, 182, Romblon with 20, 777 and Marinduque with 14, 051.
The survey also showed that nearly half of those families identified as “poor”, listed as 41,375 households, belonged to indigenous communities which are concentrated in the southern municipalities of the province.
Ernie Jarabejo, Regional Field Coordinator of Listahanan, observed that since 2009 until 2015 they have noted that Palawan consistently turned up having the biggest number of poor fsmilies in the region.
“Mukhang nakakabother. Simula 2009 hanggang 2015 bumababa ang poor households but the magnitude is still the same. Dapat yata may tingnan tayong sa ibang aspect para malaman kung bakit laging nangunguna ang Palawan,” Jarabejo said.
He added that the towns with the highest number of poorest households are those in the southern portion of the province which have the weakest access to government services.
“Dati lumalabas ang Aborlan pero dahil malapit sa intervention ng government, nagamot ‘yun. Ngayon lumabas doon sa mga mas liblib na lugar ang maraming mahihirap,” he said.
He added that in their 2012 survey of indigenous communities, the concentration of tribal communities are in the south.
He said that through Listahanan program, they have been able to identify target communities that need direct intervention from the government.
“Mas maganda dahil mayron tayong indicators dito sa Listahanan database at doon tayo tututok ngayon, isa-isa, kung feeding program lang ba ang nakukuha na tulong mula sa gobyerno, ,” Jarabejo added.
Recently, the provincial government also identified the widespread poverty incidence among indigenous communities as the main factor in the province’s high poverty rate.
Provincial Planning and Development Office Chief Ninfa B. Rubio recently said they are conducting a survey that would help them identify proper intervention for IPs.
The survey has two components: socio-economic component that seeks to identify the social and economic condition; and geographic profiling which aims to identify their location.