NEGROS FIRST! Reduction of Poverty Incidence
The Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) in Negros Occidental showed that poverty incidence of families increased by 4.9 percent from 36.7 in 1997 to 41.6 in 2000, but decreased by 10.2 percent at 31.4 in 2003. The average family income in the province is pegged at Php73,923 in 2000, registering an increase of 9.25 percent from the 1997 figure of Php67,665.
The province’s recorded inflation rate in 2006 is at 4.8 percent, while the purchasing power of the peso weakened to Php0.78 in 2006 from the value of Php0.89 in 2003.
The FIES also showed the annual per capita poverty threshold in 2003 at Php12,131. This indicates an increase in the poverty line by 9 percent in 2003, from Php11,113 in 2000, which in turn, showed an increase by 14.79 percent from the 1997 figure of Php9,681.00.
The increasing trend of the annual per capita poverty threshold, or the amount required to be spent to satisfy the nutritional requirement and other basic needs of an individual, as well as the weakening of the peso’s purchasing power, necessitates government intervention to help the poor. A wide gap of 28.8 percent was also observed on poverty incidence between the families in the urban and rural areas in year 2000, with a greater poverty incidence in the rural areas.
Negros Occidental’s LGUs receive the biggest share of internal revenue allotment (IRA) combined, as compared with other provinces in the country, with its highly-urbanized capital city, 12 component cities and 19 municipalities. This brings about a sizeable amount of the 20 Percent Provincial Development Fund (PDF) that could be properly used for impact projects, prioritizing development in the rural areas.
We will strengthen programs supporting medium, small and micro-enterprises (MSMEs) by providing credit, skills training and technology transfer, and marketing assistance. Loans will be made available to self-employed small business owners. We will also provide product design and development, skills and entrepreneurial training, marketing assistance and introduce appropriate technologies.
One successful poverty alleviation program is swine dispersal for backyard raisers. With relevant technology (e.g. Artificial Insemination for genetic improvement, and higher feed conversion rate) and marketing support, a family could earn good income by raising and breeding swine.