Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has revealed his agenda for Mindanao, with increased government spending for social services and infrastructure, a bigger share from national taxes, and more foreign investors in agriculture and power.
Binay noted that five of the 10 poorest provinces are in Mindanao, including Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, both in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
He also cited the Social Weather Stations September 2015 survey indicating that Mindanao’s poverty incidence remained at 70 percent, unchanged since June.
To alleviate poverty in Mindanao, he said, his administration will start by allocating higher share of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) for poor municipalities.
“At present, the 34 percent shared by close to 1,500 municipalities is not sufficient to finance economic activities and social services in the countryside, especially municipalities that are IRA-dependent,” he added.
Binay also said his administration will strive to create a business environment that will attract investors in agriculture and manufacturing, and generate more jobs in these sectors.
“These sectors absorb low-skilled and less-educated workers,” he said, noting that majority of Mindanaoans are subsistence farmers and landless laborers.