Samar eyes 19.5% drop in poverty incidence in 5 years

CATBALOGAN CITY -- The Samar Provincial Government is targeting to reduce poverty rate from the current 49.5 percent to 30 percent in the next five years.

The local government aims to attain this through economic development primarily buoyed by Spark Samar campaign in partnership with government agencies and private organizations.

Mario Quijano, provincial administrator and Spark Samar project manager, said Monday, September 4, that the Province has lined up projects focusing on farm-to-market roads, health, livelihood, agriculture and irrigation to reach the poverty reduction target.

“There is an integrated approach to development, which the government created for its implementation to be in unison,” Quijano said.

The local government launched Spark Samar program in 2015 to spur tourism development with Basey, Marabut and Paranas towns as pilot areas. As of 2015, Samar’s population is 780,481.

Quijano heads the project management office tasked to oversee the implementation of tourism-related projects, including evaluation and ensuring its completion.

Another strategy to hit the target is the emphasis on improvement of health services.

“We need a healthy population who will help us attain development plans in the local level. We need to bring health to the rural areas, to the poorest of the poor; to the farthest barangays and this is a big challenge for all of us,” Quijano said.

Samar province is the 14th poorest province in the country with 49.5 percent poverty incidence in 2016. (PNA)