With the talk on federalism and the prevalent sentiment of an “Imperial Manila”, it is perhaps not surprising that there is a common perception of inequality in terms of economic development among regions and provinces. Exploring this idea of inequality among regions, we listed down which specific provinces in 2015 had the highest poverty threshold and pinpointed the areas where the poverty incidences among population and family are the highest.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), poverty threshold is defined as the minimum amount needed by an individual/family to meet the basic food and non-food requirements. The following lists down the top 10 provinces, mostly from Region III and Region IV-A, that were ranked with the highest poverty threshold.
(1) Poverty Threshold
With a monthly poverty threshold of P 2,083 per person, NCR has the highest poverty threshold as a region. However, when ranked on a provincial level, Batanes and Zambales province are even more expensive to live in compared to NCR requiring a minimum amount of P 2,426.5 and P 2,206.08 for every person per month for basic food and non-food expenses, respectively.
On the other hand, poverty incidence was defined by PSA as the proportion of families/individuals with per capita income less than the per capita poverty threshold to the total number of families/individuals. The poverty incidences per province were plotted in the heat maps shown below.
The heat maps indicate which part of the country have the highest and lowest number of families and people who live below the poverty threshold. The data has been subdivided into five categories wherein the dark green represents those with the lowest poverty incidence while those with the highest are colored dark red.
Based on the heat maps, it is observed that large parts of Mindanao especially ARMM and SOCKSARGEN (Region XII), and most provinces from Bicol (Region V), Central Visayas (Region VII) and Eastern Visayas (Region VIII) were flagged as dark red and had the highest poverty incidence rates.
On the other hand, provinces shaded in dark green and had the lowest poverty incidence rates were mostly from the National Capital Region (NCR), and large parts of Central Luzon and CALABARZON (Region IV-A).
(2) Poverty Incidence
These observations are reflected in the list of top 10 provinces with the highest poverty incidence rate wherein most provinces come from ARMM and SOCKSARGEN. Alarmingly, even when compared to the other provinces in the list, Lanao del Sur exceedingly outranked the others with a poverty incidence rate of 71.9% among population and 66.3% among families.
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