The country’s poverty reduction targeting system has bared that 193,467 of the total 651,884 households assessed in MIMAROPA are poor, with the highest percentage residing in Palawan.

The government’s mechanism for identifying who and where the poor are, Listahanan Third Round Assessment (Listahanan 3), of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), stated that 193,467 households represent 30 percent of the total assessed households in the MIMAROPA provinces.

In a presentation Tuesday during the Listahanan 3 Regional Launch, it was disclosed that Occidental Mindoro has 39,899 (20.62%) poor households, Oriental Mindoro 41,473 (21.44%), Marinduque 11,628 (6.01%), Romblon 29,744 (15.37%), and Palawan 70,723 (36.56%) households.

Around 75% of the poor households reside in urban barangays and 25% in rural barangays.

Sheila S. Tapia, Assistant Regional Director for Operations of DSWD MIMAROPA, with other officials. | Photo from DSWD MIMAROPA

The Listahanan 3 assessment, which began in 2019 and was completed in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, included 1,326 field workers across the five provinces in the region.

“Listahanan used the Proxy Means Test (PMT), a statistical model that estimates household income through observable and verifiable indicators such as materials in housing structures, and households’ access to basic services and facilities such as water, electricity, health, education, and assets among others,” said Editha B. Ocampo, Policy and Plans Division Chief.

The estimated income from the PMT is compared to the poverty threshold that has already been established by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). According to this threshold, households whose incomes are lower than the threshold for the province in which they live are considered to be poor.

The Listahanan database also showed that the average household size among the region’s poor is four, with the majority of them possessing cell phones (56%), televisions (33%), and motorcycles (21%).

In contrast, 0.74% of poor households lack access to electricity, the majority of which are located in Occidental and Oriental Mindoro provinces.

It also said that out of every 100 low-income households, 26 do not have access to any toilet facilities, and the only options for disposing of waste are open pits or pail systems.

In Palawan, 33% of poor households are members of indigenous peoples (IP) group. It has the highest proportion of poor IP households, at 61%, with the Palaw’an indigenous peoples constituting the majority.

The new profile of the poor was released on December 20, with the theme “Bawat Bahay Magkakasama sa Kaunlaran.”

In her message, Sheila S. Tapia, Assistant Regional Director for Operations, stated that the Listahanan 3 data can be accessed and utilized by social protection managers in local government units and other stakeholders in order for them to determine who to target with their anti-poverty projects and programs.

“Listahanan 3 offers a new, more concise, and up-to-date collection of data as part of our commitment ‘to deliver, coordinate, and monitor social protection programs and services to the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged population towards a fair, just and peaceful society,” Tapia.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.