Poorest village in PH no longer poor, mayor insists
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Barangay Pange in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte, is no longer the country’s poorest village, according Siayan Mayor Flora Villarosa.
Villarosa told the Inquirer on Saturday that all 22 barangays of the town had already been lifted out of the below poverty threshold lifted since 2012.
“I don’t know what you are talking about or what basis are you using, but as far as I am concerned, our town and the entire 22 barangays are no longer that poor. And a day is not enough to give you tell you about out programs on how we were able to do it,” Villarosa said.
Siayan, a second class municipality of 34,966 people based on the 2015 National Census, was consistently the country’s poorest town between 2003 to 2009.
Pange, populated by mainly Subanen people, was also the country’s poorest village during that period.
“As of 2012, we are now in number 36 from being number one poorest in year 2009,” Villarosa added. “It’s not good and fair if you report that Pange is the poorest,”
According to sources from the Zamboanga del Norte provincial government, Pange is the farthest and the last barangay of Siayan.
“It will take you almost a day of travel and there is no cellular site there nor landlines,” one of the sources said.
Another source, who works in a private company, said that Pange is about 23 kilometers away from Poblacio Siayan.
“It‘s in the hinterlands. The people there are mostly upland farmers,” the source said.
According to him, visiting Pange is not easy because the road is not paved. You have to cross a river without a bridge before reaching the village of over 1,000 people.
Villarosa was not clear if the infrastructure problem in Pange had already been addressed.
She abruptly cut off the conversation, saying she was in the middle of a meeting for the elections. /atm
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