Davao City wants to reduce poverty incidence to 16.6% by 2015

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 March) – This city is aiming to reach a 16.6 percent poverty incidence rate by 2015.

Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte signed on February 26 Executive Order 15 to reconstitute the Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT), which is tasked to identify specific poverty reduction strategies and programs, and create a comprehensive “grassroots budgeting approach” to address poverty reduction.

The LPRAT will convene every quarter to monitor and evaluate the city’s poverty reduction programs, as well as the monitoring of the program’s implementation.

The team comprises the city mayor as chairman, the president of the South Davao Police Retirees cooperative as co-chair. The city council’s chairman for the committee on finance, ways and means will represent the council, with representatives from the national government, civil society and business sector.

The order is in accordance with Memorandum Circular no. 4 series of 2013 issued by the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the National Anti-Poverty Commission that mandates a “bottom-up” approach to budgeting in order to set priority projects among national and local government offices.

Approved on February 26, the order expands the LPRAT membership.

According to a report published by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the country has a “medium probability” of achieving the millennium development goal of eradicating extreme poverty at a national poverty incidence of 19.7 percent as of 2012.

While lower than the 20.5 percent in 2009, NSCB stated it did not make a “significant” statistical difference.

The NSCB report said that one out of every four families in the Davao Region was considered poor in 2012, which was a “slight improvement” from a 25.5 percent poverty incidence in 2009.

The NSCB data is updated every three years, with 2012 as the latest figure nationwide.

Davao Region ranked ninth highest in poverty incidence among the country’s 17 regions, but was the least poor among Mindanao’s regions.

“The amount required for an individual in the region to sustain his basic needs in 2012 was computed at P19,967. This means that a family of five members needed P8,319.60 per month to stay out of poverty. This poverty threshold was the highest in Mindanao,” the NSCB report said.