SWS: 10.1M Pinoys rate themselves poor
An estimated 10.1 million Filipino families considered themselves poor during the second quarter of this year, a 1.4 million decrease from the self-rated poverty figure in the previous quarter, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The survey, conducted from June 23-26, showed that 44 percent of the 1,200 heads of households who were interviewed face-to-face were poor, down from 50 percent or about 11.5 million families in March.
Prior to the June survey, the self-rated poverty rate rose for two consecutive quarters, from 42 percent in September to 44 percent in December and then to 50 percent in March. When President Duterte assumed office in June last year, self-rated poverty was at 45 percent.
The SWS survey, first published in BusinessWorld, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.
In Luzon outside Metro Manila, self-rated poverty fell 16 points to 34 percent while it slid by 8 points in Metro Manila to 28 percent.
Second quarter self-rated poverty worsened both in the Visayas by 7 points to 64 percent and in Mindanao by 4 points to 57 percent.
The latest survey also found 32 percent or 7.3 million families considering themselves poor in terms of food, down from 35 percent or 8.1 million families in March.
Self-rated food poverty in the second quarter decreased by 15 points to 27 percent in Luzon outside Metro Manila, by 5 points to 16 percent in Metro Manila while it increased by 11 points to 44 percent in the Visayas and by 6 points to 41 percent in Mindanao.
Despite the easing self-rated poverty, the SWS found that the surveyed households still lacked P5,000 to meet the P10,000 monthly budget threshold set by the respondents for them not be considered poor in general.
The results of the survey also showed that in June, the median self-rated poverty threshold—the monthly budget that the poorer half of the poor households need for home expenses—was at P20,000 in Metro Manila, P15,000 in Luzon outside Metro Manila and P10,000 in both the Visayas and Mindanao. These figures are the highest levels reached in those areas, according to the SWS.
Families also said they lacked P2,500 to satisfy the P6,000 monthly self-rated food poverty threshold.
“These values are higher in the June 2017 survey compared to their March 2017 counterparts, meaning families are in need of more money and lack more money to escape food poverty,” SWS said in its report.
The median self-rated food poverty threshold—the monthly food budgets that food-poor households need so as not to consider themselves food-poor—also reached highest levels by area. It was P9,000 in Metro Manila, P6,000 in Luzon outside Metro Manila and P5,000 in both the Visayas and Mindanao. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
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