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According to the ASEAN Trade Union Council, the Philippines has the highest rate of economic and social inequality in Southeast Asia. This problem is not limited to personal wealth. Land distribution, educational and vocational opportunities and basic welfare programs are also affected by the growing disparity between the Philippines' richest and poorest citizens.
As economic inequality has become more pronounced in the past decade, this has resulted in geographical disparity in the Philippines. In Mindanao, the southernmost and second largest of the Philippines' islands, six of the 10 regions are among the top 10 nationally in terms of poverty rates, with between 25 and 40 percent of families living in abject poverty. Nationwide, the 30 most deprived provinces are home to more than one-third of the Philippines' poorest families, resulting in generational poverty that is incredibly difficult to emerge from.
As in many other parts of the world, it is often the indigenous population that suffers the most. In the Philippines, the approximately 1.7 million people belonging to the nation's 100 ethnic groups remain the most disadvantaged, with discrimination and a lack of opportunities creating serious barriers
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