Chief Statistical Specialist Federico Bahit, Jr. of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-CAR) reported that the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) consistently demonstrated an improving economic performance as shown in the decreasing trend of poverty incidence from 2018 to 2021. CAR also performed better than the national in almost all poverty indicators.
The Regional Statistics Committee (RSC), through the PSA, spearheaded the dissemination forum of the 2021 Full-Year Poverty Statistics on September 30, 2022 in Baguio City.
Affirming the importance of the forum, Assistant Regional Dir. (ARD) Stephanie F. Christiansen of the NEDA Regional Office said, “we owe it to every Cordilleran to inform everyone on the economic situation of the region considering the effects of the pandemic, how the region coped and our initiatives to rebuild better.”
The provinces of Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province and the City of Baguio exhibited improvements in terms of poverty incidence among families and the population. The province of Abra showed an increase in poverty incidence having the highest magnitude of poor families and population.
ARD Christiansen cited that factors which contributed to the improvement are: (1) strong regional economy, (2) steady employment, (3) single-digit inflation, (4) stable income, and (5) the stimulus package and subsidies distributed to poor individuals and families during the pandemic.
She added, “Let us not be complacent with the good outturn. While we have decreasing poverty measures, CAR strides in low leaps.” She encouraged everyone saying, “As public servants and private individuals, we can do more not only in economic terms. Poverty is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional in nature. This can be addressed by a whole-of-nation approach.”
Poverty incidence is measured by the proportion of families or individuals with per capita income less than the per capita poverty threshold to the number of families and individuals. While the poverty threshold is the minimum income required for a family or individual to meet basic food and non-food needs.
The RSC members, media, and invited panelists attended the event. The RSC is a support committee of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) chaired by NEDA Dir. Susan A. Sumbeling, with PSA Dir. Villafe Alibuyog as the Vice Chairperson.