Agusan Sur graduates from 'Club 20' poor provinces

Agusan Sur graduates from ‘Club 20’ poor provinces

/ 07:38 PM March 23, 2024

Maharlika Highway in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur

This section of the Maharlika Highway in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, is part of a 122-kilometer stretch in the province allocated P3.19 billion for rehabilitation. (Photo courtesy of the DPWH)

SAN LUIS, Agusan del Sur— Edwin Cosido, a farmer in Barangay Dimasalang, recalls showing Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. and provincial agriculture officials his two-hectare banana and cacao farm last month.

Cosido told the Inquirer that his family’s new house and vehicle were funded by his farm’s profits. “I am even able to send my two sons to college,” he said.


Cane said Cosido’s success story is one of many in the province where families’ economic well-being improved after their farming income increased with the help of the provincial government’s Upland Sustainable Agroforestry Development (USAD) program.


Cane credits the program with helping reduce poverty in the province. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently reported that Agusan del Sur is no longer on the country’s list of 20 poorest provinces.

Demetrio Dejolde Jr., PSA-Agusan del Sur’s supervising statistical specialist and officer-in-charge, reported that the province’s poverty rate dropped to 25.9 percent in the first semester of 2023, from 39.6 percent in 2021.

The 13.7-percent decline in poverty incidence moved the province from the 5th poorest rank in 2021 and out of the “Club 20” of poorest provinces.

Dejolde’s report, “2023 First Semester Official Poverty Statistics of Agusan del Sur,” showed that 48,000 families or 264,940 individuals, 25.9 percent of the province’s 739,367 population, live below the poverty line.

Additionally, 17,000 families, or nine percent of the province’s population, live below the P8,333 food threshold, which represents the minimum income for a family to meet basic food needs that satisfy nutritional requirements for economically necessary and socially desirable physical activities.

The latest PSA figures show a significant improvement in lowering poverty in the province compared to 2021, when 358,030 individuals, or 39.6 percent, lived below the poverty line.


Dejolde attributed the decline in poverty to more employment opportunities and increased entrepreneurial activities in agriculture.

A related PSA-Region 13 report showed Agusan del Sur’s economy grew by 6.8 percent in 2022, mainly driven by agriculture, forestry, and fishing, which accounted for 19 percent of the growth, followed by manufacturing at 13.8 percent, and financial and insurance activities at 12.8 percent.

The per capita gross domestic product of Agusan del Sur grew by 5.9 percent to P99,387 in 2022, from P93,820 in 2021.

“This achievement signifies our substantial progress in reducing the number of people living below the poverty line,” Cane told local journalists.

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“The decrease in poverty within the province has motivated provincial, municipal, and barangay officials to redouble our efforts in improving the living conditions of our constituents,” he added.

TAGS: Agusan del Sur

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