Rising number of poor Pinoys worries Palace
Malacañang on Sunday expressed concern that the percentage of Filipino families that rated themselves poor had increased to 47 percent in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, however, noted that the percentage of those who rated themselves as “food poor” was still lower than that of the previous Aquino administration.
“Yes, we’re concerned that the perception of poverty increased,” Roque said in a statement.
“We attribute the increase to inflation, which registered 3.4 in September, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. It is also at this time that the peso depreciated, which contributed to the increased prices of goods,” he said.
The Third Quarter 2017 SWS survey, conducted from Sept. 23 to 27, found that 47 percent of families considered themselves poor. This is a three-point increase from the 44 percent recorded in June 2017.
“The proportion of self-rated poor families had a sharp increase from 44 percent in December 2016 to 50 percent in March 2017,” the survey report said.
“Before this, it had been either steady or declining for nine consecutive quarters, from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2016,” it said.
The survey also found that 32 percent of families rated their food as “poor.” This was similar to the 32 percent in June, but below the 35 percent in March.
“While we are concerned with the increase in self-rated poverty, we are encouraged by the decrease of families rating their food as poor, which stands at 32 percent in September 2017, lower than the previous administration’s average of 35 percent in 2015,” Roque said.
“It is for this reason that while the Administration is building a strong and sustainable domestic economy, growth must be inclusive and must be translated to a more comfortable life for all,” he said.
“We must ensure that the economy serves everyone and leaves no one behind by improving our social services, such as providing free college education, free medicine, free irrigation, socialized housing, conditional cash transfers, among others,” he said.
The Third Quarter SWS survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 600 in Balance Luzon and 300 each in Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.
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