The Calabarzon region (Region IV-A) ranks eighth among all 18 regions in absolute number of poor and pockets of high poverty incidence persist in the region, with 34 municipalities having poverty incidence higher than the national average, based on the 2012 Small Area Estimates (SAE) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The region also has a disproportionate share of overseas Filipino workers, suggesting that in spite of seemingly high employment opportunities due to industrialization, lack of jobs and livelihoods are pushing residents in large numbers to seek employment overseas.
The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Calabarzon has sought to address the problem by defining and pursuing convergence areas for poverty alleviation programs and projects and accompanying action plans. NEDA-Calabarzon, as Secretariat to the RDC, commissioned Brain Trust Inc. to undertake this study in order to better guide strategic interventions, and focus resources to areas for convergence for maximum impact and effectiveness. Specifically, BTI achieved the following:
1. Identified the significant factors that caused persistent poverty in Calabarzon;
2. Defined the constraints that prevented or hampered poverty reduction initiatives;
3. Assessed the relationship between past and present anti-poverty programs implemented in the region, and observed poverty incidence;
4. Recommended appropriate strategies to address the root causes of poverty; and
5. Suggested strategies to sustain the benefits or gains from anti-poverty efforts.