This paper looks at the economic and welfare conditions of residents in Lake Sebu, a largely rural but natural and cultural resource-rich municipality in Southern Mindanao in the Philippines. Two notions of welfare are used in the study: economic welfare, measured in terms of household income and vulnerability to hunger; and social welfare, measured in terms of self-reported happiness. The study uses primary data collected through a household survey and analyzed with statistical and econometric procedures (tests of difference between sub-populations; and ordinary least squares, binary probit, and ordered logistic regressions). The results suggest mixed implications of abundant natural and cultural resources on the income, livelihood, and happiness of people in Lake Sebu. Nonetheless, insofar as the availability of natural and cultural resources provides more opportunities for income-generating activities, and hence makes possible multiple-income households, abundant resources in Lake Sebu may be considered a blessing and welfare enhancing. Further, the study finds no significant positive relationship between income and happiness and no significant influence of social capital, measured in terms of membership in formal organizations, on welfare (both economic welfare and happiness).
Palanca-Tan, R., & Bayog, S. (2021). Livelihood and happiness in a resource (natural and cultural)-rich rural municipality in the Philippines. Southeast Asian Studies, 10(3), 413–433. https://doi.org/10.20495/seas.10.3_413