Kidapawan City in North Cotabato is the richest among the cities and municipalities in Mindanao based on the 2003 poverty incidence data, besting General Santos City, Davao City and even Cagayan de Oro City.
“We were also surprised with the result of the survey but this can be blamed on the inflation rate in Davao and in the other cities and municipalities which were rated behind Kidapawan City,” National Statistical Coordination Board XI head Estrella R. Turingan said during a press conference held at the Philippine Information Agency yesterday.
NSCB defines poverty incidence refers to the proportion of population or number of families with per capita income below the poverty threshold. Turingan said this is the first time that they were able to get statistics up to the municipality level due to budget constraints. NSCB generates statistics on the provincial level every three years and the 2003 data is their newest available data.
“We were only able to afford conducting the survey up to the municipality level because the project was financed by the World Bank,” she said.
Kidapawan City is a first class city and is the capital of North Cotabato. It is known primarily as a tourist destination for those who want to climb Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak.
With a poverty incidence of only 12.46%, Kidapawan City bested General Santos City (13.98%), Polomolok (14.29%), Davao City (14.94), Tagum City (15.42%), Cagayan de Oro City (15.50%), Koronadal City (16.18%), Digos City (18.22%), Padada (21.99%) and Hagonoy (22.60%).
Kidapawan City is the only area in North Cotabato that has made it to the top 10 richest cities and municipalities based on poverty incidence. The provinces of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur each had three areas in the Top 10 list.
“Poverty threshold is driven by the price of the basic necessities for the current year; it appears that the average income of Davao City’s residents are not enough to catch up with the price increases in the city,” Turingan said.