The NEDA Regional Office 3 participated in the Regional Dissemination Forum on the 2021 Official Poverty Statistics at SACOP Ephatha, City of San Fernando Pampanga on 11 October 2022. Regional Director Gina T. Gacusan presented the policy implications of the latest poverty statistics. She emphasized that human capital development is key to overcome poverty. She explained that by ensuring access to quality health, education and skills – access to work opportunities will also be easier.

Studies have shown that having two-income households will also improve the well-being of families. Among the policy interventions to address poverty she shared were responsible parenthood, increased resilience of farmers to disasters, and improved health-seeking behavior of individuals with emphasis on availing health insurance.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 3 conducted the forum to kick-off the celebration of the 33rd National Statistics Month in Central Luzon. PSA 3 Regional Director Arlene M. Divino discussed the results of the full-year poverty statistics in Central Luzon and highlighted the increase in poverty figures compared to the 2018 data. Poverty incidence among families increased from 5.2 percent in 2018 to 8.3 percent in 2021, with Zambales having the highest incidence at 17.7 percent and Pampanga with the lowest rate at 2.9 percent.

The official poverty statistics was computed using the income from the Family Income and Expenditures Survey and price data from the PSA, and food bundle designed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

(Lianelle G. Tandoc, NEDA 3-PFPD)