SORSOGON CITY (2-May-2013) – The province of Sorsogon has shown significant improvement in the poverty incidence among its households as it registered among the lowest poverty figure in the Bicol region for 2012, latest government data showed.
The National Statistical Coordination Board’s (NSCB) latest survey on the state of poverty in the country showed in Region 5 or the Bicol region, Senator Chiz Escudero’s home province of Sorsogon had a poverty incidence of 32.1 percent, below the 34.1 percent average in the region.
The figure for Sorsogon was also an improvement from the figure in 2006 of a 34.3 percent poverty incidence.
The NSCB survey, however, showed the poverty incidence for the whole country was estimated at 27.9 percent in the first semester of 2012. The NSCB said the figure was not much of an improvement compared with the 2006 and 2009 first semester figures estimated at 28.8 percent and 28.6 percent, respectively.
Escudero said that the latest NSCB survey did not reflect the claims of his critics that he did nothing to uplift the economic condition in Sorsogon which he and his father, Salvador Escudero III represented at the House of Representatives, while at the same time labeling Sorsogon as being “one of the poorest provinces” in the country.
The 2012 survey showed that the poorest provinces in the country were Apayao, Bukidnon, Cotabato City, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Ifugao, Lanao del Norte, lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Masbate, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and Zamboanga del Norte.
His detractors also questioned how Escudero used his priority assistance development fund (PDAF) since most of his provincemates remained poor.
Escudero had made it a policy to spread the use of his PDAF to cover the entire country, or about P500,000 for each municipality that went mostly to the putting up of public markets and the provision of medical assistance.
He said the practice of even distribution of his PDAF will continue in the next Congress but this time the funds will be used to set up and refurbish school buildings.
The reelectionist senator said that while he is not new to black propaganda being peddled against him and his family, the efforts insult the intellect of voters.