Vice President Jejomar Binay, citing the results of a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on self-rated poverty and poverty statistics in Bohol, vowed to create more jobs to address what he called the moral issue the country faces at the moment.
The survey, conducted from December 5-8 among 1,200 adults nationwide, showed that 50 percent of respondents (equivalent to 11.2 million families) rated themselves mahirap (poor), similar to the 50 percent (11 million) in the September survey.
Visayas posted a 5-point increase in self-rated poverty from 66 percent to 71 percent, bringing the area’s average to 66 percent.
Meanwhile, results of the Bohol poll 2015, launched by the Holy Name University (HNU) Research Center, showed that 67 percent of residents in the province rated themselves as poor.
Based on the 2012 Official Poverty Statistics released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB)/ Philippine Statistics Authority, Bohol had a poverty incidence of 30.6 percent.
Binay said his government, if elected this May, will focus on massive job-generating sectors such as tourism, manufacturing and agriculture.
He said his plans also include the improvement of tourism in Bohol, which is among the most popular tourism destinations in the country.
Fast-tracking the completion of the international airport in Bohol, which could further spur the influx of tourists to the province, including roads, bridges and seaports, will also be among his priorities, he said.
At the same time, Binay will work for the removal of irrigation service fees in response to the local farmers’ outcry over fees imposed by the National Irrigation Administration.
Bohol has 47,375 hectares of rice area where 23,041 hectares are irrigated and 24,336 are rain-fed.
“Irrigation is free in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. As an agricultural country, we should be providing support to our farmers, not burdening them,” Binay said.
Besides eliminating the irrigation fees, Binay said his administration will also push for community seed banking, seed buffer stocking and linking of seed producers with credit conduits—all of which could lessen the cost of seeds and the overall cost of production.