3 places in PH where life is ‘better’

Data bares the 3 places where citizens can live better, longer, and more educated lives in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – There are 3 places in the Philippines where citizens can live longer, ensure their children are well-educated, and have a livelihood that meets the family’s needs.

These are Benguet, Metro Manila, and Batanes, according to the 2009 Provincial Human Development Index (HDI) results released on Monday, December 10.

Based on the 2009 data, Benguet is the place in the Philippines that had the highest HDI of 0.883. This was followed by Metro Manila with 0.837 and Batanes 0.82. 

“You have a [higher] chance of living a better life [in these places]. [If you live here] you are expected to have more knowledge, be more healthy, [live a] longer life,” Dr. Toby Monsod, the Coordinator of the Human Development Network (HDN) said in an interview on Monday.

However, if the main goal is to live a long and healthy life outside of Metro Manila, the best bet is in La Union where people live up to an average of 76.4 years. This is 22.8 years more than those who live in Tawi-Tawi where the average age is 53.6.

Another place where life expectancy is long is in Cavite at 75.8 years, followed by Misamis Occidental at 75.4 years.


If education for the young is a prime consideration, the best place to live next to Metro Manila is Batanes where children receive an average of 11.5 years of education.

Benguet is the next best bet. People there receive an average of 10 years.

“When he [a child in Benguet] becomes an adult, [he] will have relatively more education relative to other places in the Philippines. It would seem that investments in education in benguet are such that children in Benguet receive more education compared to other places,” Monsod said.


If Metro Manila is not an option for comfortable living, other places can proved the same level of living or even better.

Benguet, for one, has a real per capita income of P80,431 in 2009, while Batanes has P78,325. 

These two provinces have better real per capita incomes than Metro Manila in 2009. Data from the HDN showed that Metro Manila only had a real per capita income of P73,738 in that year. 

“On average, the real per capita purchasing power of a top-5 province is almost three times more the real per capita purchasing power of a bottom 5 province,” Dr. Ma. Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista said in her presentation at the forum.

Human development

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) and the HDN released the 2009 Human Development Index (HDI) during the Dissemination Forum on the 2009 Subnational HDI on December 10.

The agency said human development, as defined by the United Nations Development Programme, is a process of enlarging people’s choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and change over time. 

But at all levels of development, the 3 essential ones are for people to lead a long and healthy life, to acquire knowledge and to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living. 

The HDI is a composite index aggregating these three basic dimensions into a summary measure. – Rappler.com