Divide and Conquer

According to the 200o statistics of the National Statistical Coordination Board and http://txtmania.com, the 10 poorest provinces in terms of poverty incidence are the following:

1. Sulu (63.2%)

2. Masbate (62.8%)

3. Tawi-Tawi (56.5%)

4. Ifugao(55.6%)

5. Romblon (55.2%)

6. Maguindanao (55.1%)

7. Lanao del Sur(55%)

8. Sultan Kudarat (54.3%)

9. Camiguin (53.1%)

10. Camarines Norte (52.7%)

On the other hand, the 10 richest provinces in the Philippines, based on poverty incidence, include:

1. 2nd District of Metro Manila [Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan] (4.1%)

2. 4th District of Metro Manila [Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Pasay, Pateros, Taguig] (4.9%)

3. Bulacan (5.4%)

4. 1st District of Metro Manila [City of Manila] (5.8%)

5. Batanes (7.5%)

6. Rizal Province (8%)

7. Laguna (8.6%)

8. 3rd District of Metro Manila [Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela] (9%)

9. Bataan (9.9%)

10. Cavite (10.2%)

If you observe, 6 of the 10 poorest provinces in 2000 are in Mindanao, while 4 are from Luzon. No province of the Visayas made it to the list. Of the 10 poorest provinces, 5 are island-provinces (Sulu, Masbate, Tawi-Tawi, Romblon, and Camiguin).

On the other hand, all 10 of the richest provinces in the 2000 list came from the island of Luzon; all districts of NCR are included, and all are adjacent to Metro Manila except for the province of Batanes. Two provinces of Central Luzon made it to the list; 3 provinces of Southern Tagalog made it to the list; and 1 province from the Cagayan Valley Region made it through as well.

All in all, most of the provinces with high poverty incidence are far from the center of power, Manila. The nearest of the 10, Camarines Norte province, is 219.5 kilometers away. The farthest, the province of Tawi-Tawi, is 1,049.14 kilometers and is closer to Kota Kinabalu than to its own nation’s capital.

This situation is one of the reasons why the people of Mindanao clamor for a change in the system. Though the biggest contributor to the nation’s patrimony, Mindanao is always left behind in terms of social and economic progress. And many people in Mindanao, so do I, believe that Charter Change is the next best answer.

I think Federalism will be a great start in developing the Philippine provinces for it will give them opportunity to more qutonomy in terms of governing their own affairs. Federalism will give our regions semi-independence in pursuing their economic interests. Because they can now focus on the specific strategies of their own regions, the federates can design a unique and workable economic policy that will fit their area; of course in consonance with the national economic agenda.

Federalism is one of the best ways to alleviate our nation from poverty. After all, as a war strategy goes, “divide and conquer”.

About carlomasajo
I am a 21 year old Fine Arts student from the University of Santo Tomas trying to help this nation become a better one.

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