The province of Pangasinan is now among the least poor provinces of the country, based on the first semester data of 2018 released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) regional office.
In a briefing with the Pangasinan Provincial Information Office staff last May 8 in San Fernando, La Union, Danites Iñigo, OIC of Statistical Operations and Coordination Division of PSA Region 1, said this is a recognition that the anti-poverty stimulus introduced by the Pangasinan government for the last three years were working.
Like Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur also joined the highest bracket of Cluster 5 in 2018, rising from Cluster 4 rank. The poorest provinces belong to Cluster 1.
She said Pangasinan made an impressive improvement, from 23.0 percent in 2015 to 10.5 percent in 2018 or a percentage decrease of 12.5 percent in 2018 in poverty incidence, the second highest among top 10 most populated provinces in the country after Nueva Ecija at 13.1 percent.
The second semester data for 2018 is still being analyzed but Iñigo is confident that the result will be better as in the first semester considering the strong economic performance of Region 1 that year.
Divino Amor Rivera, statistical specialist II, said the poverty threshold in Pangasinan in 2015 per family was P11,373 and has increased to P13,160 in 2018.
“So bumaba po siya (poverty incident), said Rivera, who is in charge of household and establishment-based survey at PSA Region 1.
He said the coefficient variation on the 90 percent interval in 2015 registered a lower limit of 20 and an upper limit of 24. In 2018, it had a lower limit of 8.7 and an upper limit of 12.2 in 2015.
In other Region 1 provinces, their poverty incidence all went down, resulting in 8.7 percent for the whole region in 2018, from 20.4 percent in 2015.
In Region 1, Pangasinan also posted the second largest drop in poverty incidence next to La Union.
Among all the regions in the country, Region 1 has the fourth lowest incidence in poverty, Inigo said.
“Malaki po ang province of Pangasinan kaya malaki po ang poverty incidence niya. Ang significant dito ay more than twice and pag-drop niya ng poverty incidence,” Iñigo said in an interview.
The PSA officials agreed during the briefing that due to having the biggest population in Region 1, Pangasinan has the most number of poor families as it also has the most number of non-poor families in Region 1.
Latest population census in 2015 shows that Pangasinan, with a population of 2.96 million, comprises 59% of the total 5.03 million population of Region I. Clustered together, the total population of the three other provinces in the said region is 2.07 million, broken down as follows: Ilocos Norte (593 thousand), Ilocos Sur (690 thousand) ,and La Union (780 thousand).
On the poverty threshold level, the average Pangasinan family of five members, it should have an income of P13,160 monthly to be considered non-poor.
She said in the food threshold, it should have P9,198 monthly to sustain the minimum requirement of a size five family in Pangasinan in 2018. (PIO)
Map Legend by Cluster:
Cluster 1 – Red (Poorest)
Cluster 2 – Maroon
Cluster 3 – Yellow
Cluster 4 – Light Green
Cluster 5 – Dark Green (Least Poor)