MANILA, Philippines - The number of Filipino families who consider themselves poor rose by more than half a million in the past three months, a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
Fifty-five percent of respondents or about 12.1 million rated themselves poor or mahirap in the SWS nationwide survey.
The SWS survey was conducted from June 27 to 30 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 Filipino adults.
The latest poverty rate was higher by 600,000 from March’s 53 percent or equivalent to an estimated 11.5 million families, the SWS said.
The results of the SWS June 2014 poll were published in the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday. Its publication coincided with President Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address.
The same survey also showed a two-point increase in the number of Filipino households claiming to be food-poor – 41 percent (an estimated nine million families), from 39 percent in March.
The SWS noted that increases in the Visayas and Mindanao were behind the rise in both self-rated poverty and food poverty in the past quarter.
Self-rated poverty rose by 15 points in Mindanao to 71 percent and by 10 points to 74 percent in the Visayas. It remained at 37 percent in Metro Manila and dropped by six points to 45 percent in balance Luzon.
Meanwhile, self-rated food poverty also went up by 15 points to 55 percent in Mindanao and eight points to 54 percent in the Visayas. It also rose by two points to 27 percent in Metro Manila and fell by seven points to 32 percent in balance Luzon.
The SWS poll also showed that the self-rated poverty threshold – which refers to the monthly budget that poor households need for home expenses in order not to consider themselves poor in general – fell to median of P12,000 from P15,000 in Metro Manila.
It stayed at P10,000 in balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
The self-rated food poverty threshold or the monthly food budget that food-poor households need in order not to consider themselves food-poor also dropped to a median of P6,000 from P7,000 in Metro Manila.
It also fell in Mindanao, to P4,500 from P5,000, and stayed at P5,000 in the Visayas and balance Luzon.
The sampling error margins used in the survey were plus or minus three percentage points for national and plus or minus six percentage points for area percentages.