SEVEN weeks back, Dave Bercasio emailed me a press statement from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) announcing the release of poverty data for all 117 cities and more than 1,500 municipalities in the Philippines.
This little known study is historic. According to the press statement dated August 11, 2006:
This is the first time that city- and municipal-level poverty statistics have been generated. The estimates are part of the outputs of a special study entitled "Poverty Mapping in the Philippines," which was conducted by the NSCB in its continuing effort to respond to the growing need for poverty statistics at lower levels of disaggregation.The full study can be downloaded here. The poverty data by town and city starts on page 71.
Why is this important? Because for the first time, it will allow ordinary residents to see the comparative poverty picture at the provincial, city and municipal levels in the country. It can therefore serve as basis for measuring up whether our elected local officials are delivering the expected development outcomes, as they always promise us during elections. And hopefully exact accountability from them when the time comes.