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PIA Press Release

Siquijor cited as "most improved" province in RP

Solon thanks nat'l gov't for assistance

By Rizalie Anding Calibo

Siquijor Province (2 October) -- Representative Orlando B. Fua of the lone district of Siquijor recently thanked the national government for bringing development to the province.

In his speech during the province's celebration of 38th Charter Anniversary, Congressman Fua said the national government plays a "big part" in making Siquijor what it is now as he cited the number of projects funded by the national government through its various agencies.

He specifically cited the livelihood, tourism, roads, ports and other infra projects that have been implemented and some currently being fast-tracked to give visitors and Siquijodnons the ease and comfort while improving their living conditions.

Indeed, he said, it has helped a lot in terms of bringing development to the province. "We have to thank the national government for looking at Siquijor," he added as he shared the report from the United Development Programme (UNDP) through the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) that named Siquijor as the "most improved province" in the country in terms of income.

The 2008/2009 Philippine Human Development Report (PHDR) financed by the UNDP and the New Zealand Agency for International Development said Siquijor, Benguet and Biliran were the top gainers between 2003 and 2006 in terms of UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI).

From 2003-2006, the period covered by the 2008/09 PHDR, HDI levels increased for 51 provinces and declined for 27, including Metro Manila. The province of Siquijor was cited as the most improved in human development, together with Benguet, Biliran.

The index measures the "average achievement in a country" in terms of "longevity, knowledge, and standard of living."

Fua attributed the achievement to the efforts of the national government that continuously poured in a number of projects to improve the lives of the people. "Dako ang pag-uswag sa kita sa panginabuhi sa Siquijor ug nahimo ang atong probinsya nga Number 1 kon maoy kinataasan ug lukso sa income sa matag tawo," he said. "Busa ato gyud pasalamatan ang national government tungod ka ang mga butang nga gihatag niini dako kaayo ug kalabutan sa atong pag-uswag," he said.

With its bountiful development, Fua said, Siquijor is no doubt ready to face the challenge ahead and will remain a province that is "maanyag, mahapsay ug mauswagon," (beautiful, peaceful and progressive) he said.

Overall, the Philippines is classified as a medium-HDI country, along with other Asian countries such as China and Thailand. It had an HDI of 0.771 in 2005, as computed in latest Global Human Development Report for 2007/2008, ranking 90th out of 177 countries. Medium human-development countries have an HDI of at least 0.698. This ranking however has still a long way to go compared to those achieved by the 10 top-ranked countries of Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Netherlands and France.

In terms of health, the estimated life expectancy at birth of the Philippines is 71 years, or 3.5years above the average for medium-HDI countries. For simple literacy rate, the Philippines stands at 92.6 percent, or 18.7 percent higher than the group average of 78 percent. In real per-capita income, the Philippines is at $5137, or about 5% above the average of $4876 for the group. This is an improvement over past computations, where the Philippines' real per capita income was below the group average.

The PHDR was prepared by the Human Development Network (HDN), an independent team of experts who explore major issues of national concern in cooperation with the UNDP. The theme of this year's report is "Institutions, Politics and Human Development in the Philippines". The report benefited from financial support from the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID). (PIA) [top]

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