Spatial disparities and poverty: The case of three provinces in the Philippines

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The Philippines is home to about four million Filipino families who live below the poverty line, and to about 17 million families who live above it. Nearly, half of all poor families do not meet their food needs. Despite the Philippines’ fast economic growth in recent years, the growth has not translated into significant social impact as the country’s poverty situation has remained virtually unchanged. While there are the so-called highly urbanized areas in the Philippines that drive this growth, creating massive employment and lifting the quality of lives of many families, many parts of the country have lagged behind, barely generating jobs that could provide enough income for the workers and their families. This chapter attempts to better understand the constraints that the poor families face to get themselves out of poverty by looking more closely at three of the provinces in the Philippines that have unique spatial characteristics.