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About Bohol

Bohol, in the heart of Central Visayas, is the 10th largest island in the Philippines (See inset Figure 1 encircled in red). It is comprised of 48 municipalities with 15, 14, and 19 municipalities composing the first, second and third congressional districts, respectively (Green, et al 2002). The productive force of Bohol is almost 58% of the total population, of which around 89% are engaged in farming and fishing.  Agriculture remains the biggest sector in the province in terms working population and land use (PPDO 2006).

In 2000, poverty incidence was very high in the province - 50.2% in terms of population (NSCB 2000), affecting mostly farmers and fisherfolk (PPDO 2001). In the same year, the province was one of the poorest twenty in the country (18th out of the 82 provinces) using monetary measures as criteria (NSCB 2000).  The alarming thing was that the poverty incidence increased by 27% as compared to the 1997 base figure (ibid). Also, the United Nations Development Program ranked Bohol as 7th in its list of 20 poorest provinces in 2001 (GPF 2006). 

Bohol, since then, has become a leading example of how one province can lift itself out from poverty.  Bohol is no longer one of the top poorest provinces of the country.  Economically, the province relies on tourism, more particularly on its white sandy beaches, rivers, forests, caves for economic growth and development. It has been argued that this significantly altered Bohol's growth trajectory.

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