In Region 12, quality of life better in South Cotabato

In Region 12, quality of life better in South Cotabato

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/ 10 January)—Quality of life is better for people living in South Cotabato than the three other provinces in Region 12 (Southwestern Mindanao), the 2009 Human Development Index (HDI) showed.

Herlita C. Caraan, National Statistical Coordination Board – Region 12 head, recently disclosed results of the 2009 HDI with South Cotabato garnering a composite index of 0.636, followed by  North Cotabato with a composite index of 0.518, Sultan Kudarat with  0.466, and Sarangani with 0.386.

The HDI is a composite index measuring achievements in three basic dimensions of human development, which are: to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living, Caraan said in a statement.

Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani,  Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos,  Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

In 2009, South Cotabato and North Cotabato provinces were categorized under the medium-HDI provinces while Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani belonged to the low-HDI range.

A province can be classified under high-HDI if its index is above 0.800; medium, if it is within the range of 0.500 – 0.800; and low, if the index is less than 0.500.

South Cotabato consists of 10 towns and Koronadal as component city and the provincial capital and also the seat of government of Region 12. General Santos City is a chartered city of South Cotabato.

Per the 2009 HDI component, South Cotabato obtained the highest Education Index (EI) among the four provinces in the region at 0.858.

The EI was estimated as a composite of the mean years of schooling and expected average years of schooling.

Mean years of schooling for adults in South Cotabato was 8.8 years or about 0.1 year higher than the national average.

It was followed by Sultan Kudarat with 7.7 years, North Cotabato with 7.4 years, and Sarangani with 5.8 years.

The expected average years of schooling for the youth was 12.1 years in South Cotabato, the highest in the region and 0.1 year higher than the country’s average.

For the education index, only South Cotabato was classified under high-HDI group and the other three provinces were categorized under medium-HDI.South Cotabato was also highest in the Income Index (II) at 0.385. The II is measured using real per capita income. All provinces in the region, however, were classified low-HDI provinces in the standard of living component.

On life expectancy, the highest index was posted by Sarangani at 0.812. The Life Expectancy Index (LFI) is measured using the indicator on life expectancy at birth.

The number of years that a newborn is expected to live if prevailing patterns of age-specific mortality rates at the time of birth stay the same throughout the infant’s life in Sarangani was estimated at 71.3 years , about 0.7 year lower than the national average.

Expected life expectancy at birth in North Cotabato  was 70.5 years; 69.1 years in South Cotabato; and 67.1 years in Sultan Kudarat.

In the LFI, only Sarangani belonged to the high-HDI index group. The other three provinces were categorized under the medium-HDI range.

The generation of the 2009 HDI is a joint effort of the NSCB and the Human Development Network, adopting the refined version of the Human Development Index introduced in the Human Development Report 2010 published by the United Nations Development Programme. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)