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Duterte to pour in major aid to ARMM

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DAVAO CITY – The dubious distinction of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as one of the poorest regions in the country may soon come to an end.

During the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l FItr 206 at the SMX Convention Center here Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed his plans of pouring in the needed program in the region.

“Now, I would like you to know that’s Cotabato’s ARMM region, has the highest incidence of hunger. So diyan ako magbuhos ng lahat, tulong, pagkain, pati ‘yung nutrition sa mga bata. Naawa ako sa mga bata,” he said.

According to the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the ARMM’s poverty incidence among households increased to 53.4 percent in the first semester of 2015 from 46.9 percent in the same period in 2012.

This means that 1 out of 2 families in ARMM had an income lower than the poverty threshold or the minimum income to meet the basic food and non-food necessities.

ARMM is comprised of five provinces – Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the ARMM has a total of 3,781,387 as of August 2015, 1.17 million of which comes from Maguindanao.

Lanao del Sur with 1.05 million, Sulu with 825,000, and Tawi-Tawi with 391,000. (ANTONIO L. COLINA IV)