TACLOBAN CITY-Before Typhoon Yolanda, the poverty status in Eastern Visayas region was already at a plunge.
In 2006, Eastern Visayas was the 7th poorest region, with 41.5 percent of people in poverty. In 2012, its poverty incidence rose to 45.2 percent of population, making it the second poorest in the country.
After Typhoon Yolanda, the region reached an all-time high 54.9 percent poverty incidence, replacing the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao as the poorest region in the country. While the poorest provinces, Eastern and Northern Samar are located in the region.
Due to the staggering poverty incidence, Evangeline Paran, operations chief of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) urged that poverty in the region should be given focus by the candidates running for public office.
In response, First nominee Jude Avorque Acidre declares that Tingog Sinirangan’s top priority is to eradicate poverty in the region and bring regional development to Eastern Visayas.
“Poverty is the biggest reason why we are running. Tingog Sinirangan is strongly committed and has a clear plan on how to get there. First, we want to make sure we get our fair share of the national budget.
“Once we get the funding, we will create the right environment for creating wealth, to encourage investments in the region, and to provide more services like scholarship and healthcare for the social development,” Acidre said, referring referring to their partylist Tingog Sinirangan, the first regional political party in Eastern Visayas.
“But then again, the problem is multi-faceted and complex, it has been a battle that we have been fighting for so long and Tingog Sinirangan is willing to take the lead. We will make sure that the solutions we propose are inclusive, sustainable and feasible. It should not only be government-led but should be in partnership with the private sector and the local community,” he added.
In the Annual Poverty Indicator’s Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority in the first half of 2014, Eastern Visayas’ poverty incidence was at 54.9 percent, against Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao’s 54 percent and Bicol Region’s 48.2 percent.
At present, more than one-half of Eastern Visayas’ population of 4.10 million remain very poor with their income falling below the national threshold set per person.
“We are running to give voice to the region’s people and end the vicious cycle of poverty,” Acidre said.