DSWD: Zambo Norte still poorest province in region PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 December 2011 17:40

Poor families still abound in Zamboanga del Norte, according to Regional DirectorTeodulo Romo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-9 (DSWD-9).
Romo reported during the 138th Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting held at Top Plaza Hotel in Dipolog City that Zamboanga del Norte has remained the poorest province in the region since 2003.

Latest survey also revealed that more than 65 percent of the households in the province are poor.

Zamboanga del Sur, on the other hand, has more than 63 percent poor families while the province of Zamboanga Sibugay has around 61 percent destitute households.
Among the 25 towns of Zamboanga del Norte, Siayan registered the highest percentage of poor families at 88.7 percent, followed by Sibuco at 87.6 percent, Sirawai
at 84.4 percent, Godod at 81.3 percent and Gutalac at 78.5 percent.

In the 2003 survey of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), Siayan was also listed as the poorest town in the country.

Presently, Siayan is a recipient of a number of poverty alleviation programs of the national government agencies (NGAs) more particularly those implemented by DSWD such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P), KAPIT-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) and Self-Employment Assistance-Kabuhayan (SEA-K).

All other municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte including its two component cities of Dipolog and Dapitan are also beneficiaries of 4P, which is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education more particularly of children aged 0-14 years.

The program provides beneficiaries with cash grants of P500 a month for health and nutrition expenses and P300 a month per child for educational expenses. A household with three qualified children could get P1,400 monthly.

In a related development, the 2006 National Statistics Office (NSO) survey identified the top 20 poorest provinces in the country as Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Maguindanao, Apayao, Surigao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Northern Samar, Masbate, Abara, MIsamis Occidental, Agusan del Sur, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Sulu, Kalinga, Surigao del Sur, Mt. Province, Sarangani, Lanao del Norte and Negros Oriental.