Guv disproves VP’s branding of Pangasinan as among poorest provinces


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III has refuted the statement of Vice-President Leny Robredo that cited the province as one of the 20 poorest provinces in the country.

Espino posted his statement in the provincial government’s official Facebook page on Wednesday.

“The Vice President should have checked her data carefully before branding provinces like Pangasinan as among the poorest,” he said.

Robredo was at the London School of Economics (LSE) on Friday, where she delivered a speech on poverty and role of politics in economic growth, when she mentioned the 20 provinces, including Pangasinan that have consistently ranked in the top poorest provinces since 2004, quoting a recent study by Ronald Mendoza, the dean of the Ateneo School of Government.

Following Espino’s reaction to Robredo’s claim, the Pangasinan Information Office (PIO) said Pangasinan is one of the top 25 richest provinces in the country based on the latest (2015) Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) data, contrary to Robredo’s data.

PIO asserted that the poverty incidence in Pangasinan in 2015 was 11.2% compared to the country’s 16.5%.

“The decline in poverty incidence was significantly noted when Pangasinan registered a sharp decline from 21.8 % in 2006 to 11.2% in 2015 or a 49% drop in poverty incidence compared to statistics on the national scale which went down from 21% in 2006 to 16.5% in 2015 or a 21% dip”, said PIO.

PIO also said Pangasinan holds the distinction as a best implementer of poverty reduction programs, which was started by former Governor Amado Espino, Jr., now fifth district representative, and sustained by the present administration.

“This can be confirmed by the fact that the Regional Development Council, a multi-agency group spearheaded by the National Economic Development Authority, had conferred to the provincial government the Best Poverty Reduction Program Implementer award (provincial LGU category) in 2009, 2013 and 2015”, PIO said.

Pangasinan continues to receive national and regional awards including the Seal of Good Local Governance awards since 2015 to 2017.  Hilda Austria/