Poverty incidence among population in Region VI significantly decreased from 22.4 in 2015 to 16.4 percent in 2018, about 4.7 percent lower than the target in the Regional Development Plan of Western Visayas, 2017-2022 and even lower by 0.2 percent than the national average of 16.6 percent.  The decrease in poverty incidence in all provinces indicates that economic growth trickled down to lower-income families and government programs and projects are collectively helping bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

This positive development was shared by NEDA VI RD Ro-Ann A. Bacal, who is also the Chairperson of the Regional Statistics Committee, in her delivery of the NEDA Statement during the presentation of the 2018 Full Year Poverty Statistics on January 31, 2020 at the Zuri Hotel, Iloilo City. The activity was called by the Philippine Statistics Authority and attended by participants from line agencies, LGUs and members of the media.

Essentially, the magnitude of the poor in Region VI decreased from 1,839,300 in 2015 to 1,272,100 in 2018 or about 567,200 individuals  emancipated from poverty.

Despite the region’s declining poverty, concerted efforts will have to be exerted to alleviate the remaining 16.4 percent poor population or about 1.23 million individuals. For this, the role of state universities and colleges through their extension programs; civic organizations, professional groups, NGOs, and private companies will be mobilized to emancipate and liberate families and individuals from their desperate situation.

Efforts will be focused on ensuring that at there are at least 2 members of the family that are working or engaged in productive ventures; families live in decent dwellings; mothers are educated on proper sanitation and proper preparation of nutritious meals; school-age children are attending their classes and are well nourished; among others.

The Regional Development Council, will continue to transform Western Visayas into a place that is most conducive for investments and most attractive to tourists and visitors (DRD).