ARMM bats for 30% poverty incidence rate in 2019

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

DAVAO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will reduce in three years the region’s poverty incidence to 30%, from 53.4% in 2015, through a convergence of several government efforts.

The development plans are rooted in regional priorities and full backing from the national government. Another component of the plan hinges on commitments from ARMM local chief executives drafted during the 3rd ARMM Local Government Summit on November 30 held at SM Lanang Premier’s SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

“Our target is to improve the living conditions of our households para ma-reduce ang poverty,” ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia told local chief executives and other government officials attending the summit.

In the first quarter of 2015, ARMM’S poverty incidence was tracked at 53.4% with Lanao del Sur and Sulu posting 70.2% and 61.8% poverty incidence, respectively. The performance of the regional economy is also on the list for improvement. The growth in gross regional domestic product of the ARMM in 2013 was 3.6%, from only 1.1% in 2012. The figure is projected to improve to 5.6% growth in 2019.

The regional priorities are anchored on six fronts: - agri-fishery development under rural development; - functional LGUS, improved regional government service delivery, and increased people’s participation under good governance at all levels; - anti-terrorism, illegal drugs and crimes under public order and security; - health and nutrition, education, livelihood, water and sanitation, and social welfare and protection under basic services for all; - disaster preparedness, response and rehabilitation and environmental protection and management under climate change adaptation, and disaster resiliency; and, - all components are complemented with infrastructure support.

It should be noted that the ARMM is undertaking several programs to combat poverty and these include ‘Apat na Dapat’ initiative at the household level, and the Armmhealth, Education, Livelihood, Peace and security and Synergy, or HELPS, at the barangay level.

“These two programs are specifically designed to address the roots of poverty,” ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said. The Apat na Dapat started in January 2016, with 600 of the region’s families as beneficiaries. In 2017, about 5,000 families will benefit from the program.

At least P240 million was earmarked for the program’s implementation in 2016. The initiative provides the beneficiaries with basic needs such as food and livelihood training, water and sanitation, shelter, and electricity. Gov. Hataman said the absence of even one of these poses risks to a family.

The ARMM-HELPS, is the banner program of the Office of the Regional Governor that aims at establishing a peaceful and secure environment in the region by providing basic social services in relation to health, education, livelihood, good governance and peace at the barangay level. The program was launched in 2013.

The ARMM has allocated a total of P13.7 billion for poverty alleviation since 2014, including a P4 billion budget for 2017.

The national government’s anti-poverty agenda – Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA) – also focuses on the improvement of economic condition of ARMM constituents and those in other conflict-affected areas in Regions 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao) and 12 (Central Mindanao). Billions of pesos were also allotted by the Duterte administration to the CRDA with projects mostly covering areas in the ARMM.

Rosanna Urdaneta, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority national deputy-director general, said President Duterte wants “to bring the programs and services of the national government to the ARMM and conflict-affected areas.”

The CRDA focuses on the eradication of hunger, establishment of potable water systems, provisions of shelters, free college and technical vocational skills training, electrification, health facilities, agricultural development, and job generation to combat employment and underemployment.

The ARMM leadership noted the realization of the region’s development vision demands the participation of the LGUS. “Hindi po nakasalalay lang sa regional government ang effort [to reduce poverty], we need your [LGUS] help to lower the poverty incidence rate,” Sec. Alamia added.

The local chief executives across the region, comprising of 116 town mayors, two city mayors, planning officers and provincial governors, manifested the commitment to reduce poverty incidence. “Ang dami kong nakuha from the summit, sobrang nakaka-inspire ang pagbabagong naganap sa ARMM. It actually boosted my desire na lalo pang galingan ang pagbibigay ng serbisyo sa aking bayan,” Mayor Arcam Istarul of Tipo-tipo, Basilan said noting he is now working to achieve for his town the Seal of Good Local Governance.

“We must prove to the entire nation that Mindanaons can perform as well, if not better, than our counterparts in Luzon and Visayas,” Sec. Ismael Sueno of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said.

Philippine Resources Savings Banking Corporation or PR Savings Bank is the country’s 5th largest independent savings bank with assets nearly P12 billion.

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