Latest human dev't report shows inequality among Phl provinces

Jul 30, 2013

The 2012/2013 PHDR showed inequality across regions in the country, along with the slow pace of development from 1997 to 2009. (Photo:

MANILA, Philippines - Provinces in Luzon topped the list of best performing provinces in human development while those in Mindanao languished at the bottom, the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) 2012/2013 Philippine Human Development Report (PHDR) showed on Monday.

The report, which analyzed the human development index (HDI) of all the provinces in the country from 1997 to 2009, showed the inequality  across regions in the country, along with the slow pace of development during the period covered, UNDP said.

Benguet topped the list in 2009 with a 0.849 HDI, followed by Batanes (0.789), Rizal (0.734), Cavite (0.709), Bulacan (0.699), Bataan (0.698), Laguna (0.695), Nueva Vizcaya (0.678), Ilocos Norte (0.641) and Pampanga (0.634).

On the other hand, Lanao del Sur (0.416), Masbate (0.406), Zamboanga del Norte (0.384), Sarangani (0.371), Davao Oriental (0.356), Agusan del Sur (0.354), Zamboanga Sibugay (0.353); Tawi-Tawi (0.310), Maguindanao (0.300) and Sulu (0.266) occupied the bottom of the list.

"Most of the 10 lowest-ranked provinces are conflict-ridden. Previous PHDRs have consistently shown that the bottom 10 provinces in almost every aspect of human development are also the most conflict-ridden ones," UNDP noted.

Based from scores in 1997, the most improved provinces included Benguet, Biliran, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Catanduanes, Quirino, South Cotabato, Aurora, Bohol and Eastern Samar.

The biggest losers, meanwhile, included Davao Oriental, Maguindanao, Batangas, Zamboanga del Norte, Quezon, Basilan, Laguna, Rizal, Tawi-tawi and Batanes.

Overall, the Philippines posted a 0.654 average HDI. Life expectancy is 69 years, expected years of schooling is 11.7 years and gross national income per capita is $3,752, the report said.

It added that La Union has the highest life expectancy at 76.4 years, 22.8 years more than the bottom province of Tawi-Tawi with 53.6 years. On average, adults in the top five provinces have 10.1 years of schooling, 73 percent greater than adults in the bottom five provinces. Sulu has 4.6 years of schooling. Children in Benguet are expected to attain about four more years of schooling in adulthood, on average, compared to their counterparts in Mindanao. On average, the real per capita purchasing power of a top five-province is almost three times more that of a bottom-five province. 

"Fifty of the 80 provinces incurred at least a 50-percent loss in HDI due to inequalities while the rest of the provinces had losses of almost a quarter of the HDI values," the report said.

HDI is a measure of human development computed using factors that include a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living. An ideal HDI should be close to 1. - Jovan Cerda (


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