Albay posts 'biggest improvement' in poverty situation over 3-year period

LEGAZPI CITY-- Despite a series of natural calamities that hit Bicol, the poverty situation in the region showed improvements in 2015 compared to 2012.

Albay province particularly showed the “biggest improvement” from among Bicol’s six provinces during this period.

This highlighted the latest statistics on poverty that was issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) regional office.

Cynthia Perdiz, PSA regional director, said in 2015, the poverty incidence in Bicol showed improvements, both in terms of families and individuals.

She said the poverty incidence among families dropped by 4.8 percent, from 32.3 percent in 2012 to 27.5 percent in 2015.

“Similarly, the poverty incidence among individuals, was down by 5.1 percent, from the 41.1 percent in 2012 to 36 percent in 2015,” said Perdiz.

PSA data also showed that among the six provinces in the region, Albay province showed the biggest improvement in poverty situation of families.

“From the 33.9 percent recorded in 2012 it dropped to 17.6 percent in 2015 or a reduction of 16.3 percentage points,” the data showed.

Masbate and Camarines Sur also recorded decreases in poverty incidence of families.

The decrease was 4.6 percentage points in Camarines Sur, from 31.7 percent in 2012 to 27.1 percent in 2015.

In Masbate, the decrease was 5.1 percentage points, from 40.6 percent in 2012 it dropped to 35.5 percent in 2015.

But despite this drop in percentage of poor families in Masbate over the three-year period, PSA noted that in 2015, compared to the the six provinces in the region, Masbate showed the highest recorded poverty incidence among families at 35.5 percent.

“In 2015, Masbate recorded 35.5 percent, Catanduanes, 33.6 percent, Sorsogon, 31.7 percent, Camarines Norte, 29.3 percent, Camarines Sur, 27.1 percent, and Albay, 17. 6 percent,” said PSA.

On the other hand, the poverty situation had worsened in three Bicol provinces from 2012 to 2015. This was also in terms of poverty incidence by families.

“These were in Camarines Norte, which showed the biggest increase in incidence at 7.6 percent, Catanduanes rose by 6.5 percent and Sorsogon was slightly up by 0.4 percent,” said the data.

In terms of poverty incidence among individuals in 2015, Albay had the lowest incidence, from 41.1 percent in 2012 to 25.2 percent in 2015.

PSA said this 15.8 percent reduction recorded for Albay was the “biggest improvement” compared to the other provinces.

This was also during the administration of former Albay governor and now second district Representative Joey S. Salceda.

In 2015, a comparison of the six provinces showed that in terms of poverty incidence among individuals, Masbate had the highest poverty incidence at 45.4 percent, followed by Catanduanes at 43.4 and Sorsogon at 41.3.

The Bicol region’s per capita poverty threshold in 2015 was placed at P21,476 which was higher than the P18,257 in 2012.

“This means that a Bicolano family with five members would need at least P8,948 average monthly to meet both basic food and non-food needs,” said Perdiz.

Among the six provinces of Bicol, Camarines Sur had recorded the highest cost of living with P22,154 annual per capita poverty threshold while Masbate had the lowest at P20,406 in 2015.

PSA noted that in 2015, out of the 5.8 million population in Bicol, 36.0 percent of 2.2 million were poor. (Rhaydz B. Barcia/PNA)