Former House Speaker Davao del Norte First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez has been proven a liar for saying there is massive poverty in the province under the leadership of Governor Anthony del Rosario.

The charge is being thrown by Alvarez  at the governor who is challenging his reelection in the May 13 mid-term election.

Alvarez is running under the banner of his local political bloc Alvarez Wing; Del Rosario carries the flag of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional political party of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Alvarez was ousted as Speaker of the House of Representatives last year over allegations of corruption.


Even as the ex-Speaker is secretary general of the ruling PDP/Laban party of President Duterte, the President has dumped Alvarez and is instead supporting the bid of Del Rosario and other leading candidates of Inday Sara’s HNP: reelectionist Second District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. and Rodney del Rosario for Governor.

The allegation of poverty in Davao del Norte is a major political issue leveled against Del Rosario and his administration by Alvarez, his gubernatorial candidate virtual unknown Edwin Jubahib and his media bureau.

But contrary to the claim, Davao del Norte has landed in 2018 in the list of the country’s provinces with excellent performance on poverty reduction.

Davao del Norte is in the elite list of top performing provinces in the country that notched high ratings in poverty reduction in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).


The Davao Region province, under the leadership of Governor Anthony del Rosario,  was among provinces  in Mindanao that achieved high reduction rate of poverty in the country, according to the PSA.

The outstanding performance also placed Davao del Norte on top of the five-province Davao Region, with poverty reduced to nearly half compared to 2015 figures.


PSA said the poverty incidence among the families in the province has decreased to 14.5 percent last year from 27.2 percent in 2015.

The 12.7 percentage-point drop from three years ago allowed Davao del Norte to barge into the top 26 performing provinces in poverty alleviation in 2018 among the 81 provinces in the country.

Poverty incidence is defined as the proportion of families whose income is below the poverty threshold or poverty line to the total number of families.

The PSA also reported that the province has increased its per capita poverty threshold to P12,720.

Based on the 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) results, Davao del Norte ranked second among the Mindanao provinces, next to Davao del Sur, which has a poverty incidence of 10.7% and per capita poverty threshold of 12,968.

Among the other provinces in the Davao Region, Compostela Valley achieved a poverty incidence of 25.8%, while Davao Oriental has 32.6% and Davao Occidental has 36.7%.

In a special edition of Kapihan sa Kapitolyo, PSA-11 regional director Ruben D. Abaro Jr. said the rising purchasing power of consumers may have triggered the increase in the annual per capita poverty threshold of the province.

This translates to an estimated annual per capita poverty threshold of P10,600, which is essential to meet both basic food and non-food needs for a family of five within a month to be considered out of poverty.

Having the relative capacity to buy, Abaro said, Dabawenos showed preferences for higher-priced but better quality goods, which consequently pushed higher the minimum level of income that is deemed adequate in the province.

Abaro also said the significant decline in the number of poor families in Davao del Norte reflects the local government units’ improved delivery of basic services to the people.

“This means that the provincial government is still doing well in addressing or providing the basic needs of the populace,” Abaro said.

Abaro said the local government’s efforts in beefing up human development complements its advance in speeding up economic growth of the province, which now boasts as the most competitive province in Mindanao and the third most competitive province in the country for 2018. (with report by Ivy Tejano/Manila Bulletin)

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