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Piñol challenges poverty stats in Mindanao, eyes data review

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) recognizes the need to verify all statistics on Mindanao to craft programs that are appropriate for the island.

“We really need to come up with a database that will give us a fair picture of what Mindanao is today and what needs to be done,” said Sec. Emmanuel Piñol, the chair of MinDA, during the flag-raising ceremony of the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies XI on Monday.

Piñol said he does not believe the data identifying some provinces in the Mindanao among the poorest provinces in the country.

“I am especially complaining why Lanao del Sur is among the poorest provinces in the country,” he said. “I do not believe that. They are so rich.”

He further posed his challenge to the Philippine Statistics Authority to come up with a verifiable and validated poverty incidence level. Piñol also questioned the methods of survey of the PSA.

“I am asking how do you come up your poverty incidence level? Shouldn’t it be face-to-face? Have you talked to them?” he asked.

“Maranaos are very enterprising. Those very enterprising persons are the poorest in the country? I don’t believe that. Go all over the country, any city in the country and you’ll find a Maranao trader,” Piñol added.

Piñol said, “if we really want Mindanao to develop, we need a validated data on poverty incidence, malnutrition level, electricity and water connectivity, and road reports, and others.”

He also called on the other regional directors to sit down and coordinate with other offices of national agencies. “I am proposing that you lead a quarterly meeting. Let’s sit down together and compare notes to come up with a collaborated and synchronized approaches on the different problems in Mindanao,” Piñol said.

“So that together we can pull our resources, our talents, and address the basic problems Mindanao is facing that stands in the way of its development as a promise land,” he added.

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