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More Filipino families rate themselves poor in survey

/ 01:00 AM November 15, 2011

The number of Filipino families who consider themselves poor has grown, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, particularly in Luzon (excluding Metro Manila) where gloom about worsening conditions had expanded, eclipsing improvements seen in other areas.

The September 4-7 poll, first published in BusinessWorld, found that 52 percent or some 10.4 million households considered themselves “mahirap” or poor, where in June the self-rated poverty was only at 49 percent or 9.8 million households.

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Those who said they were poor in terms of food (self-rated food poverty) accounted for 41 percent or 8.2 million households, a rise from 36 percent or 7.2 million households three months ago.

The self-rated poverty rating swelled in Luzon (excluding Metro Manila) to 53 percent, a 15-point rise that erased decreases noted in Metro Manila (39 percent, from 43 percent ), Visayas (53 percent, from 61 percent) and Mindanao (57 percent, from 62 percent).

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The rating for Luzon was at its lowest last June at 38 percent since a record 22 percent regarded themselves as poor in March 1987.

On the self-rated food poverty rating, Luzon (excluding Metro Manila) again showed a two-digit surge to 45 percent from 28 percent. Fewer families said they were food-poor in Metro Manila (25 percent, from 28 percent), Visayas (39 percent, from 48 percent) and Mindanao (44 percent, from 45 percent).

The median self-rated poverty threshold rose in Metro Manila (P15,000, from P11,000) and Visayas (P10,000, from P8,000) but declined in Luzon outside Metro Manila (P7,500 from P7,700) and Mindanao (P6,000, from P8,000).

The median self-rated food poverty threshold stayed at P6,000 in Metro Manila and increased in Luzon outside Metro Manila (P4,000 from P3,000), Visayas (P5,000 from P4,000) and Mindanao (P3,500 from P3,000).

The SWS, which polled 1,200 adults, found that 28 percent among the self-rated poor, 16 percent among those who rated themselves “not poor” and 13.4 percent of those on the borderline, experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.

The survey also found that 31.1 percent of the self-rated food-poor, 14.8 percent among those who rated themselves “not food-poor” and 14.7 percent among those on the borderline, also experienced hunger.

SWS used face-to-face interviews for the noncommissioned survey, which had an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.  Ana Roa, Inquirer Research

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TAGS: opinion surveys, Poverty, SWS
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