President vows more support for ARMM

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 July) — President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to pour more support in the five-province, two-city Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which has the highest poverty incidence among 16 regions in the country based on the 2015 report of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

During the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l FItr 206 at the SMX Convention Center here Friday, Duterte said he was saddened to see young Moros suffering from hunger due to poverty.

President Rodrigo Duterte at the Mindanao Hariraya Eid'l Fitr 2016 in Davao City on Friday. PPD/ Cado Niñal
President Rodrigo Duterte at the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fitr 2016 in Davao City on Friday. PPD/ Cado Niñal

He said ARMM has the highest incidence of hunger “so diyan ako magbuhos ng lahat, tulong, pagkain, pati ‘yung nutrition sa mga bata. Naawa ako sa mga bata” (so I will pour everything – including nutrition for the children). He said he is embarking on a national feeding program.

NAPC’s 2015 data showed that the poverty incidence in the  ARMM provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi worsened in the first semester in 2015 rising to 53.4 percent compared 46.9 percent in the same period in 2012.

“This means that one out of two families in ARMM had an income lower than the poverty threshold or the minimum income to meet the basic food and non-food necessities,” it said.

Based on report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), ARMM has a total population of 3,781,387 as of August 1, 2015, with Maguindanao having the biggest population at 1.17 million, followed by Lanao del Sur at 1.05 million, Sulu at 825,000, and Tawi-Tawi at 391,000.

Duterte also reiterated his campaign platform of ending corruption to see governments transform to real social services on the ground.

“Marami akong plano sa ating bayan but I have to clean up…Even before the campaign, I was always stressing corruption must stop. Corruption must stop. At lahat ‘yung may ibinigay ng gobyerno para sa tao, kailangan dumating sa tao,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)