The region’s poverty incidence statistics showed significant progress as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) MIMAROPA during the 2018 Full Year Official Poverty Statistics Regional Dissemination Forum held on January 28, 2020 at Mahalta Convention Center in Calapan City.

The poverty incidence among population dropped by 9.7 percentage points, from 24.8 percent in 2015 to 15.1 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, the poverty incidence among families dropped 7.3 percentage points, from 17.8 percent in 2015 to 10.5 percent in 2018. The magnitude of poor population in the region was estimated at 468,500 people, while the magnitude of poor families was estimated at 77,600 families.

The poverty threshold and food threshold increased by 14.3 and 14.0 percentage points in 2018, respectively. An average family of five needed P9,679 average monthly income to buy their minimum basic food needs and non-food needs, while they need P6,713 average monthly income to buy minimum basic food needs.

The subsistence incidence among population decreased by 4.6 percentage points, from 9.0 percent in 2015 to 4.4 percent in 2018 while the subsistence incidence among families decreased by 3.2 percentage points, from 6.0 percent in 2015 to 2.8 percent in 2018. The subsistence incidence is the proportion of families or individuals with per capita income less than per capita food threshold to the total number of families or individuals.

All provinces in MIMAROPA recorded lower poverty incidence among families and population. Oriental Mindoro recorded the lowest poverty incidence among families and population, with 7.2 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively. On the other hand, Occidental Mindoro recorded the highest decline in the poverty incidence among families and among population, with 14.4 and 19.9 percentage points, respectively.

OIC-Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling of the NEDA MIMAROPA, in her statement, mentioned that the progress in the statistics may be attributed to the significant economic growth of the region in 2018. She emphasized that MIMAROPA is the second fastest growing region with an accelerated growth of 8.6 percent in 2018. The generation of new jobs, increase in minimum wage rates in the region, and increase in employment rate also contributed to the decline in poverty incidence.

She also stated that the institutionalization of difefrent government interventions like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Magna Carta of the Poor, Universal Health Care, Supplementary Feeding Program, and the Free Tertiary Education signifies the commitment of the government to improve the living conditions of the people especially the poor.

She stressed that there is a need to enhance the strategies indicated in the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 to achieve the vision of ending poverty by 2040. She also highlighted the need to fully implement Executive Order No. 70, or the Whole-of-Nation Approach to fight insurgency, which will harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government, thereby facilitating the attainment of the end plan target to reduce the poverty incidence in the region.

Dir. Sumbeling added that to achieve a better living condition for the people, growth and development must be inclusive. She mentioned that the role of the private sector should be recognized and partnerships with them in addressing poverty should be forged.