Chong makes wrong claim on Biliran poverty

Written by
University of the Philippines Journalism Department
Last modified
Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 21:52
Screenshot of Chong's video


Mula 2007-2010, sa maiksing tatlong taon lamang, natamasa po ng Biliran ang kaunlaran. Ibinigay ko po ang aking sarili, ang lahat ng aking talino, ang lahat ng aking kakayahan, at lahat ng aking kabutihan upang maiahon ang mahigit kalahati ng lahat ng mahihirap sa Biliran mula sa matinding kahirapan. (From 2007-2010, in three short years, Biliran experienced development. I gave myself, all my knowledge, all my abilities, and all my goodwill in order to raise more than half of poor Biliran citizens from extreme poverty).

                                                     — Glenn Chong, Facebook video, March 28, 2019

Senatorial candidate Glenn Chong falsely claimed he cut poverty in Biliran by half when he was the province’s representative in the House from 2007 to 2010.

According to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), poverty incidence among families in Biliran was 22.6 percent in 2006, a year before Chong was elected congressman. While he was in office in 2009, poverty incidence in his province increased to 31.8 percent. In 2012, two years after he served as Biliran representative, it declined to 20.9 percent.

When measured against provincial population, poverty incidence in Biliran was 29.8 percent in 2006, 39.2 percent in 2009 and 27.5 percent in 2012.

Biliran poverty incidence

While poverty incidence in Chong’s province indeed decreased from 2009 to 2012, it was not by more than half as he claimed, but by 34.3 percent among families and 29.8 percent among individuals.

The difference between 2006 and 2012 poverty incidence is even smaller: It dropped by 7.5 percent among families and 7.7 percent among individuals.

Moreover, Chong was not the Biliran representative from 2009 to 2012. He lost his the re-election bid in 2010 to Rogelio J. Espina.

In 2006, 8.1 percent of families in Biliran lived without enough income for food, according to NSCB subsistence incidence data, which followed a trend similar to poverty incidence. It rose to 9.9 percent in 2009 before easing into 6.1 percent in 2012. Among individuals, it was 12.1 percent in 2006, 13.5 percent in 2009 and 8.3 percent in 2012.

Biliran subsistence incidence
Source: NSCB

Subsistence incidence among families dropped in 2012 by 38.4 percent from 2009 and 24.7 percent from 2006. Among individuals, it decreased by 38.5 percent from 2009 to 2012 and 31.4 percent from 2006. As in poverty incidence, the decrease did not go over 50 percent.

The NSCB was one of the four agencies that were merged into Philippine Statistics Authority in 2013 through Republic Act 10625.

As of posting, Chong’s Facebook video, which features “Lahing Kayumanggi,” a song paying tribute to overseas Filipino workers, has garnered more than 164,000 views, 8,100 shares and 6,000 reactions.


Chong, G. [Glenn]. Isang daan para sa bayan [Video file]. (2019, March 28). Retrieved from, watch from 3:14-3:40

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2016). 2016 Philippine statistical yearbook [PDF version]. Retrieved from


The views and information in ‘’ are those of their respective authors and owners and do not reflect the official policy or position of the media and academic partners of

Fact Checked By