DAVAO CITY -- The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) will roll out a five-year development program aimed at bringing down the poverty incidence rate in Mindanao from 40 percent to 21 percent by 2023.
NAPC Secretary Noel Felongco said on Friday that the five-year program will be rolled out in 20 poorest areas in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Sarangani, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga del Sur and Sulu.
In a press conference at the Apo View Hotel, Felongco said NAPC is targeting Mindanao because it has the highest poverty incidence rate and has the most number of poorest areas in the country.
Felongco said Mindanao has long been neglected that even in the budget share, it only gets about 4.5 percent despite its 15 percent contribution to the country’s Growth Domestic Product. This is also in spite of the fact that the island contributes 40 percent to the country's agricultural production.
The high poverty incidence, Felongco said, is also attributed to corruption, the long social injustice, poor local governance in some areas, communist insurgency and conflict in the Bangsamoro.
Felongco, however, hopes that these problems will finally be addressed.
The two core programs, presented during the 2018 Assessment and 2019 Strategic Planning for Mindanao Operations, are the Sambayanihan, Serbisyong Sambayanan (SSS) and the Actionable Development Agenda for Poverty Transformation” or ADAPT 40/10/10.
SSS targets to harmonize NAPC’s efforts in addressing the 10 basic needs of the people and aims to reduce poverty incidence.
It will ensure that the Urban Poor sector will be given access to basic services and climate-resilient dwelling, livelihood and employment, and to pave way to the development and deployment of innovative infrastructure and financing mechanisms to the rural poor; strengthening rural and urban agro-economic value chains; securing the health and general well-being of poor communities; enhancing food security and the Mindanao Special Development Program.
The other program, ADAPT 40/10/10, aims to help poor communities across the country to adapt to the effects of climate change, which NAPC considers as a game-changer and has forever altered the natural and social environment of the country.
Felongco said the 40/10/10 denotes a list of 40 provinces, 10 municipalities per province and 10 barangays per municipality determined as the poorest in terms of poverty incidence and magnitude.
This year, NAPC, together with government implementing agencies, will roll this out in the first 20 poorest areas. The second year (2020), NAPC hopes to lift 0.5 million or 500,000 families; one million on 2021; 1.5 million in 2022; and, 3 million in 2023.
Fernando Cao, the head of the NAPC research team, said the goal of lifting the lives of three million families by 2023 will serve as the guide of NAPC.
Cao said the programs are characterized as a pro-active engagement to make sure that results will trickle down to the communities.
Felongco, however, stressed that targets can be achieved if all stakeholders will cooperate and support the program.
“We are not here because we want to earn a living. We are here as part of NAPC because of a mission and vocation.
This is my personal conviction. This is my way of contributing to uplift the situation of the poor not only here in Mindanao but also to the whole country. This is our calling. We should all participate, regardless of our political inclinations,” he said in his speech during the assessment at Apo View on Thursday. (PNA)