Press Release
April 14, 2010


Barely a month before the elections, Senator Edgardo J. Angara has urged presidential aspirants to reveal their plans to resolve social inequities that have driven many Filipinos deeper into poverty.

Angara made the call amid widening disparity among provinces in terms of income and access to basic services such as education, employment, health and sanitation.

"Better-performing cities and provinces such as Metro Manila, Benguet, and Rizal have Human Development Index (HDI) scores comparable to middle-income countries such as Turkey, Ukraine and Jamaica. Meanwhile, provinces at the other end of the spectrum - such as Sulu, Maguindanao and Tawi-tawi - are near the scores of very poor African States like Kenya and Uganda," Angara noted.

He cited that majority of the bottom scorers in educational attainment belong to the poorest 20 percent of the population. And many of these children live in the conflict-ridden Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and its surrounding islands.

Angara added, "In ARMM and the Zamboanga Peninsula, over 10% of the population aged 17 to 22 has received less than four years of education. In contrast, education poverty ranges from only 1 to 2% of the population in Manila."

Given this data, Angara urged the future leaders to address the widening gap among provinces through equal distribution of resources and effective delivery of basic services in the remote areas especially in Mindanao.

"Mindanao has unique and specific challenges especially in education and in the general delivery of basic social services. The government shall effectively carry out development programs that will complement each region's economic strenths."

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