1.7% rise in poverty, 95% employment rate In Davao Region a big puzzle for RDC XI

Outgoing Regional Development Council XI (RDC) chairperson and Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said poverty incidence in the Davao Region was the lowest in Mindanao but was saddened by the high poverty incidence of 28.8 percent as of the first semester of 2012 which is a 1.7 percent increase from 2006.

However, she noted that the Region has sustained the 95 percent employment rates for both 2011 and 2012 which is evident of the expansion of the region’s absorptive capacity for employment.

“Pero pag medyo mataas ang poverty incidence and mataas ang rate ng employment, it makes you wonder and we have to look into this,” she said,

Duterte-Carpio said the planned targets for 2010 and 2011 were not achieved because of identified risks and external shocks including the slower recovery of the US and European economies that limit market options for banana exporters, high oil and energy prices and the selling by the small-scale miners of their gold produce in the black market.

“But the Gross Regional Domestic Product levels had been increasing and the Region has rebounded as the top economy among the six regions in Mindanao for 2011,” she said.

She admitted that the statistics on increasing poverty incidence is however evident of the non-inclusive growth. But on the other hand, the creation of jobs aimed at reducing poverty is an indication of inclusive growth which is why the two conflicting statistics of increasing poverty incidence and employment growth continue to puzzle economic workers in the region.

The RDC XI has identified the remaining challenges for the region in the remaining three years (2013-2016): slow decline in poverty incidence, unsustained economic growth levels, low productivity levels in almost all major sectors, slow growth in employment generation.

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