MANILA – Senator Grace Poe has expressed support for the creation of the Samar Island Region to accelerate economic development and improve the delivery of public services in the Samar provinces, which remain among the poorest in the country.
As an administrative region, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Samar will be plucked out of the Eastern Visayas Region or Region VIII. It will enjoy independence in regional planning and management.
The proposal follows the creation of a Negros Island Region, the country’s 18th region, through an executive order signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III in May 2015.
“What is important in this kind of process is for the basic services of the government would easily reach our countrymen. If this will help, why not? For me, that’s a priority and I will support it,” Poe told the local media during her visit in Calbayog City, Samar on Thursday.
Poe, the leading presidential candidate based on surveys, said creating a Samar region is consistent with her programs of government, which focus on more efficient delivery of services, inclusive economic development and job creation.
She said projects that will effectively reduce poverty will top her First 100 Days Agenda.
Based on the 2012 Poverty Statistics, the three Samar provinces are listed in the 15 poorest provinces in the country. Eastern Samar has a 55.4 percent poverty incidence, the second highest in the Philippines.
“In my first 100 days, if I will be elected, I will focus on how to create more livelihoods and jobs for our countrymen. We will roll out infrastructures immediately because a six-year term is too short,” she said.
In an administrative region, provinces can pool their resources together and will have control of the income for the benefit of the local residents.