ILOCOS NORTE registered the lowest poverty incidence rate in Region 1 at 15 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which local officials attributed to the aggressive programs of the provincial government under Gov. Imee Marcos with focused on poverty alleviation.
The PSA defines poverty incidence as the proportion of families (or population) with per capita income less than the per capita poverty threshold to the total number of families (or population).
According to the PSA, Ilocos Norte has been consistently included in the least poor cluster
of provinces in the first semester of 2012 and 2015.
“This is attributed to the steady stream of remittances from Ilocanos overseas and aggressive tourism industry fueling the growth of local economy with more investments thereby creating meaningful jobs for Ilocanos,” The PSA noted“I am proud of our poverty reduction program but I will continue to work to improve the lot of the remaining 15 percent poor,” Marcos said.
In 2010, Marcos said her administration faced the challenges of soaring poverty and unemployment rates in which she employed massive transformation efforts in the province.
“We then launched Capitol Express, a program focused on poverty reduction which brought the provincial government’s various programs on agriculture, health, education, jobs and livelihood, among others to all Ilocanos down to the grassroots,” Marcos said.
Citing the significant decrease of 24 percent poverty rate in 2010, Marcos said that through efforts like this, the province has also exceeded poverty, employment, education, maternal health and reforestation in line with the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations Development Programme.