Kalayaan male youths engage early in labor force, 2022 CBMS shows

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan (PIA) – The 2022 community-based monitoring system (CBMS) showed a high number of male youth engaging early in the labor force and not further continuing their studies due to poverty in Kalayaan town.

The data show a declining trend in school attendance for both sexes, starting at 18 to 24 years old. The top reason cited among males is employment, followed by the high cost of education and financial concern, which is the top reason for females.

Mayor Roberto Del Mundo acknowledged that poverty plays a significant role in the turnout of data.

Ibang pamilya diyan ay sinasama na nila yung kapatid, anak imbes na mag-aral sa mainland. Bata na may edad na 15 hanggang 18, sa hirap din ng buhay nila— May mga bata kasi doon na hindi nakapag-aral, kinukumbinse na lang mga kapatid na magtrabaho ron,” he said.

Ages 15 and above have a participation rate in the labor force of 94.6 percent for males and 65.6 percent for females. Most of the employment opportunities in the island rely on construction and fishing.

Del Mundo said it still depends on parents if they want their children to continue pursuing studies or let them join the labor force to help meet families’ needs.

The education facilities available are limited to the daycare center, preschool, elementary, and junior high school. To address the number of locals who have not finished their studies, the local government unit is working with the Department of Education (DepEd) to bring an Alternative Learning System (ALS) to Kalayaan.

Meron kaming teacher ng ALS na gusto pumunta. Hinihintay pa rin namin kasi ang budget namin ay pinagkakasya-kasya lang namin,” he said.


LGU Kalayaan signs data sharing agreement with PSA Palawan and MIMAROPA. (Photo by Rachel Ganancial)

The data were gathered by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2022 and processed until early 2023. They were turned over to the local government unit (LGU) on Tuesday as the second to receive data in the region after Linapacan.

There were 66 responding households from 227 covered populations in a lone barangay, Pag-asa. The population in Kalayaan strengthens the civilian presence in the area, which is important for the country’s assertion of sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea.

Virgilio Tagle, provincial director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), said that Kalayaan has economic issues to face, and CBMS data will help agencies provide needed intervention to strengthen the town.

Alam natin kung gaano ka-special ang Kalayaan, may international concern. Madevelop, mapalakas ang presence ng civilian, mapalakas ang claim natin. Kapag established na ‘yan, hindi na tayo mahihirapan,” Tagle said.

The data generated from CBMS showed that 7.6 percent of the population still has no access to the internet and 3.0 percent lacks electricity. The majority of the locals get their general use of water from the community water system piped into dwellings, and 100 percent of the population is supported by water refilling stations for drinking.

Even though 74.2 percent have a basic level of sanitation facilities, about 25.8 percent, or 17 households, still share with other households.

In the past 12 months, around 4.6 percent of the population was worried about not having enough food to eat, 3.0 percent had to skip a meal, and 3.0 percent was hungry but did not eat.

Kalayaan, a fifth-class town, is one of the five PSA-funded municipalities in the 2022 CBMS. PSA Regional Chief Statistical Specialist Ma. Leizl Magbojos said that the recent CBMS was more comprehensive due to the indicators included compared to the next CBMS in 2024, as the latter will focus on poverty alleviation.

Marami kayong pwedeng gawin na plans and analysis— Our hope is magamit talaga ito ng ating LGUs sa kapakanan ng mga taga-Kalayaan,” Magbojos said.

Despite the size of their town, Del Mundo believes that the data will help Kalayaan implement more projects in the coming years. (RG/PIA Mimaropa-Palawan)

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