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Bohol Poverty Reduction, Peace and Development Program
In several parts of the country, men fight tooth and nail to feed their hunger. And in some, like in the province of Bohol, hunger is responsible for fueling latent insurgency.
“Widespread poverty breeds insurgency,” said Bohol Governor Enrico B. Aumentado, “And this can’t be handled militarily.”
If government soldiers carried bread instead of guns when they hit the field, they will probably do a better job of quelling the uprising. Of Bohol’s population of slightly more than one million, 54% wallowed in abject poverty in 2000. Three of every 10 barangays are hotbeds for conflict in early 2002.
To address the worsening situation, the Bohol Poverty Reduction Program was created in July 2001.
The goal was to reduce poverty incidence by at least 2% yearly by increasing access to services and fueling economic growth.
From 2002 to 2005, 16,928 new jobs were created in the farm and tourism sectors. Child malnutrition was also addressed, and access to sanitary toilets, potable water resources, and education were increased.
A total of 17,138 households in 348 barangays benefited from the program and 30,000 more are being eyed for the program’s next phase.
The result was encouraging. In 2002, communist insurgents belonging to the CPP-NPA had four fronts in Bohol. By 2005 only one remained. Of the 400 barangays, only 36 had communist presence.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 2005 Galing Pook Awards.
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