14 million Filipino families consider themselves poor — SWS
MANILA, Philippines — Around 14 million Filipino families considered themselves poor in the first quarter of 2023, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, which said this was a “steady” figure from its record in December 2022.
The SWS survey from March 26 to 29 released only on May 7, Sunday showed an estimated 51 percent or 14 million families rated themselves poor.
About 30 percent of families found themselves borderline poor, and 19 percent not poor, it further noted.
“This is similar to December 2022 when poor families were at 51 percent, borderline [poor] families at 31 percent, and not poor families at 19 percent,” SWS said.
In December 2022, SWS noted 12.9 million self-rated poor families in the country.
The national estimates, according to the pollster, were weighted by the Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2023.
SWS surveyed 1,200 respondents – 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The error margins for the survey are ±2.8% for national percentages and ±5.7% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Self-rated poverty rose in Metro Manila, Visayas
SWS also highlightef that the number of Filipino families who considered themselves poor rose in Metro Manila from 32 percent to 40 percent, and Visayas from 58 percent to 65 percent.
“However, it fell in Balance Luzon from 49 percent to 43 percent, while it was statistically steady in Mindanao, moving from 59 percent to 62 percent,” it said.
No statistical change was seen in the number of borderline poor families in Metro Manila from 29 percent to 26 percent, Balance Luzon from 58 percent to 65 percent, and Mindanao from 30 percent to 33 percent. But there was a dip in Visayas from 34 percent to 26 percent, according to SWS.
The pollster also found that families who did not find themselves poor increased from 20 percent to 25 percent in Balance Luzon, but dropped from 39 percent to 33 percent in Metro Manila and from 11 percent to six percent in Mindanao.
This, however, did not move in Visayas at nine percent.
SWS said the Metro Manila self-rated poverty threshold – or the minimum monthly budget self-rated poor families say they need for household expenses in order to not consider themselves poor – leaped from P15,000 in December 2022 to P20,000 in March 2023.
But the self-rated poverty threshold remained “steady elsewhere,” according to the pollster.
SWS said that among the 14 million Filipino families who considered themselves poor, 6.5 percent or 1.8 million were newly poor, which means they did not consider themselves poor one to four years ago.
Around 6.7 percent or 1.8 million families said they were poor five or more years ago, and 37.9 percent or 10.4 million families said they have never experienced not being poor.
Among those who did not find themselves poor, SWS found that 17.7 percent or 4.8 million families said they experienced being poor one to four years ago, 9.5 percent or 2.6 million said they were poor five or more years ago, while 21.7 percent or 5.9 million never experienced being poor.