COTABATO CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte will visit the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) regional seat here on Saturday, October 29, as the region’s top official sees stronger anti-poverty programs under the current administration. Ironically, the ARMM is situated outside the Muslim autonomous region, considering that Cotabato City is not part of the ARMM since it is within Region 12 administrative region.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said Duterte previously expressed his desire to help the region’s drive against poverty and hunger. Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the ARMM is the poorest region in the country with poverty incidence of 53.4 percent. Lanao del Sur and Sulu, two of the five provinces that comprise the autonomous region, are considered the poorest and second poorest provinces with 70.2 percent and 61.8 percent poverty incidence, respectively. High on the list of the ARMM’s concerns, aside from peace and order, are food security and poverty, which are the focus of the President’s first executive order that puts to task 12 government agencies.