A two percent decrease at 26.7 percent on the poverty incidence among families of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) during the first semester of 2015 was seen based on the latest studies compared to the same period in 2012 which was at 28.7 percent. This was based on a report of Sunstar Baguio last April 27 of this year.
The municipality of La Trinidad is one of the least poor municipalities in the province of Benguet according to the 2012 Small Area Estimates of Poverty by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Since 2006, La Trinidad has consistently belonged in the least poor cluster based on the same research of PSA.
In order to maintain the lowest possible proportion of poor residents in Benguet, one of the municipalities in CAR, the government gives importance to their plans and programs in the sector of education, health, nutrition, livelihood and environment according to Benguet Provincial Board Member Concepcion Balao.
Education affecting poverty
According to a report in Sunstar Baguio, CAR has a high literacy rate but many out of school youth are recorded.
Some of the reasons of the youth for skipping school are personal interest, marriage, employment, and financial difficulty according to the report.
Teachers in the Cordillera say that a high literacy rate is important because it affects employment rate as well as poverty incidence.
On the other hand, Melanie Corpuz, an elementary student of La Trinidad, Benguet, said that she wants to finish college so that she can work to help her parents and to serve the country.
Unemployment and underemployment as a hindrance
According to a report in InterAksyon, Myrene Bosleng of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office mentioned that CAR unemployment in 2014 is 6.5 percent compared to 2013’s 5.4 percent.
However, she stated that even though it rose 1.1 percent, the rate is still higher than the national unemployment rate.
In addition, Bosleng said that CAR’s underemployment rate in 2014 is better at 14.4 percent than in 2013 at 18.4 percent.
Unemployment is the condition of not having a job despite looking for one while underemployment is a condition wherein you might have a job but you are not using the skills in which you are trained for.
According to Niko Martinez, a contractual and underemployed worker in La Trinidad, Benguet, he hopes that the new president, Rodrigo Duterte, can achieve his platform regarding the abolition of contractualization among jobs in the country. “Of course, we must also help ourselves instead of waiting for the acts of the president,” added Martinez.
Various factors indeed affect the poverty incidence of a place especially education and employment. Since the poverty incidence in the province decreased, the people, especially the youth, should be mobilized and should be well-educated to avoid unemployment and underemployment.
Seminars regarding out of school youth should be often conducted so that the factors that causes it will be prevented or lessened, if possible.
As the quote stated by Nelson Mandela goes, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Development starts within one’s self, so commitment and goals are important to improve the province, and the nation as well.//Ma. Amica G. Mañalac