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WHY ACT MALAYSIA FOCUSES MORE ON MINDANAO
Humanitarian Situation in Mindanao
A combination of armed conflict, incompetent government and natural disasters has left most of Mindanao population struggling to survive. In the recent study of National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) of the Philippines, The five-province, two-city Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted the highest poverty incidence among families in the country’s 17 regions nationwide in 2012, with Lanao del Sur posting the highest at 68.9% and Maguindanao at 57.8%. Nationwide. 22 out of 100 families were estimated to be poor in the 1st semester of 2012. In the ARMM, the figure is more than twice, at 47 families out of 100. In Lanao del Sur, the figure is thrice the national average, at 69 out of 100 families and Maguindanao at 58 out of 100 families. In three years, 2009 to 2012, Maguindanao’s poverty incidence rose by as much as 20.2%.
The government considers a Filipino family poor if monthly earnings are less than the poverty threshold. In the 1st semester of 2012, poverty threshold for a family of 5 was at P5,458 per month to meet basic food needs. If non-food needs -- such as clothing, housing, transportation, health, and education expenses, and others -- are added to the threshold, cut off in 2012 went up to P7,821 earnings a month.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan explained that problems with peace & security played a substantial role in the increased poverty incidence in some provinces in Mindanao. That coupled with succession of natural disaster mainly in the form of heavy flooding due to typhoons have made living conditions worse for many people especially in Cotabato and Maguindanao area. Just recently, an estimated 30,000 people in Maguindanao and Cotabato were uprooted from their homes due to flooding.
And historically Mindanao people or the Bangsamoro have been at war with whom they regard as colonials (the Spaniards, Americans and later Filipinos). The land is continually under arms struggle since the 17th century causing instability and underdevelopment.