Poor families in South Cotabato decreased based on the 2018 First Semester Comparative Poverty Incidence Report. The province is up to one notch from cluster 3 in 2015 to cluster 4 in 2018.
Provinces belong in Cluster 4 are provinces with below 20 percent poverty incidence. Cluster 1 indicates the poor cluster of provinces.
Poverty incidence among families in South Cotabato is posted at 18.9 percent last first semester of 2018 compared to the 23.6 percent of the same period of 2015. A difference of 4.7 percent decrease is noted.
Jennifer Bretaña, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, said there are various factors contribute to the poverty level of families.
“The decrease of poverty incidence among families is attributed to the increase in employment. The more economic investments in the province, the more jobs are created,” Bretaña said, stressing the increase in income provides food on the table.
Based on population, the data showed only 24.5 percent of South Cotabatenos remained poor in 2018 compared to 28.6 percent in 2015.
South Cotabato is the only province in Region 12 that is not among the top 20 poorest provinces in the country, according to the 2015 Poverty Data released by Philippine Statistics Authority.
The decrease in poverty incidence has a cascading effect in the economy and the infusion of investment resulting in the prevalent poverty incidence in South Cotabato, Bretaña explained.
It is useful to note, however, that the poverty incidence of South Cotabato has been consistently dropping for the three periods. And in the last five years, South Cotabato’s good governance earned the trust of investors that adds to the economic gains of the province.
One gain is when South Cotabato was adjudged as one of the Most Competitive Provinces in the country in 2018.