Local Convergence


Sarangani is among the top 10 poorest provinces in the country. While poverty incidence has been slowly declining over the years, many families continue to depend on low-paying livelihoods in farming, fishing, and mining. Even if mobility restrictions in the province were not as worse as urban localities, families’ livelihoods suffered due to the economic slowdown.

To address chronic poverty in the province, NGOs of various backgrounds–local and national, big and small–have banded together to converge their data and their programs to more effectively reach the poor, give them a voice, and address their needs.


  • 48,281 poor families (2018)
  • Poverty flat since 2006 but slowly decreasing since 2015
  • 31% do not have access to potable water from piped sources
Local Convergence
  • SPECTRUM (provincial network) and its 10 member-local NGOs lead the convergence
  • Joined by 6 other national NGOs & CSOs operating in the province.
  • Key local NGOs are part of local development councils in Sarangani & municipalities

Sarangani is among the top 10 poorest provinces in the Philippines with 48,281 families considered as poor, which accounts for 36.1% of the total number of families in Sarangani. Despite this, the province has seen a slow but steady decline in poverty incidence among families from 2015 to 2018 (47.26% to 36.07%). Most of Sarangani’s poor earn their living from farming, fishing, and mining with 89,585 poor individuals employed in the Agricultural, Forestry, and Fishery sector and 29,527 in Mining and Quarrying. Many of Sarangani’s poor families do not have proper water piping and well protection (31%) which limits their access to safe potable water.


According to the ZEP-UNDP COVID Pulse PH Survey, 7 out of 10 of the Covid Pulse PH respondents in Sarangani expressed in Q1 2021 that their income worsened compared to the previous year, while 49% have lost their jobs or were forced to close down their businesses. Despite the decline in income, few respondents have expressed a certain level of recovery from the pandemic, and reasons for improvement were attributed to receiving support from the government, engaging in sideline work/business, and the opportunity to return to their previous jobs. What remains to be the main obstacle to economic recovery is the irregularity of income due to prevailing COVID-19 restrictions.

COVID Pulse PH Survey Findings

Many NGOs and other agencies–big or small, national or local–are present in Sarangani. Though they aim to address various elements of development in this poor province, their efforts could be maximized through greater convergence. Thus, in 2021, the Sarangani Province Empowerment and Community Transformation Forum (SPECTRUM) took on the challenge of leading the ZEP 2030 Local Convergence of Sarangani (including nearby General Santos City). SPECTRUM is a network of ten local NGOs, and they are joined in the local convergence by 6 other national NGOs affiliated with ZEP. Together, they aim to utilize data, technology, and innovations to better articulate people’s needs, align the various programs on those aspirations, and jointly measure collective progress.

Success Stories from the Field

According to PSA’s 2015 and 2018 national poverty statistics, the Sarangani Province’s poverty incidence notably decreased from 45.6 percent to 36 percent in those respective years. However, despite this sign of improvement, the province still had the highest poverty incidence in the SOCCSKARGEN Region and was the 8th poorest province in the country, with around 48, 200 poor families in 2018. Additionally, the province had the highest (25.6 percent) subsistence incidence or the proportion of families who cannot afford food necessities.

Having said this, the ZEP2030 coalition saw this as an opportunity for collective action to identify and assist extreme poor families in the province, given the presence of many active civil society organizations in Sarangani with the same goal. The Sarangani Province Empowerment and Community Transformation Forum (SPECTRUM), a member of the ZEP2030 movement, is one of those organizations.
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Map of Sarangani Local Convergence Members

ZEP Sarangani Convergence Members

Assisi Development Foundation (ADF)
Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI)
Dana Foundation, Inc.
International Care Ministries (ICM)
Kasilak Development Foundation, Inc.
KPS-Small Enterprise and Economic Development, Inc.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc.
Malapatan Multipurpose Cooperative
OND Hesed Foundation, Inc.
Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)
RD Foundation, Inc.
Sarangani Province Empowerment and Community Transformation Forum, Inc. (SPECTRUM)
SEAOIL Foundation
Southmin iHome, Inc.
Sta. Cruz Multipurpose Cooperative
Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF)

To collaborate with the ZEP Sarangani Convergence, reach out to SPECTRUM at spectrum_sargen@yahoo.com.