Palace blames pandemic, says gov't boosting economic recovery
MANILA — Almost half of Filipino families said they feel poor, a pollster has said, as the country continues to address rising fuel prices and slowly recovers from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social Weather Stations' (SWS) latest non-commissioned survey released Wednesday showed that 43 percent or some 10.9 million Filipinos rated themselves as poor, while 23 percent see themselves as not poor.
Some 34 percent of the 1,440 interviewed adults between April 19 to 27 identified themselves as borderline poor or in the middle, the poll noted.
The percentage of those who felt they were poor remained the same from the similar survey conducted in December last year, the pollster said, but the percentage of those who felt poor in this survey dipped by 5 percent, while those who rated themselves as poor rose by 4 percent.
SELF-RATED POOR RISES IN MINDANAO, NCR
SWS added that those interviewed who rated themselves poor rose in the capital region and in Mindanao, while it decreased in Visayas and Balance Luzon.
Self-rated poor families rose significantly in Mindanao by 17 percent to 60 percent. This was only at 43 percent in December 2021, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, the figure slightly rose in Metro Manila by 7 percent to 32 percent from just 25 percent from just 4 months ago.
The rating fell in the Visayas and Balance Luzon, SWS said, from 59 percent to 48 percent and 41 percent to 35 percent, respectively.
Aside from this, SWS said 6.1 percent of families were "newly poor" or those families who were "non-poor 1 to 4 years ago."
A total of 4.5 percent, meanwhile, self-rated themselves as "usually poor" or families who were not poor for more than 5 years ago, while 32.2 percent said they were "always poor" or "never experienced being non-poor."
The number of those belonging in the newly-poor families was estimated to be around 1.5 million this year, while 1.1 million were usually poor. Some 8.2 million families, on the other hand, said they were always poor, according to the survey.
PALACE: WE ARE DOING WHAT WE CAN
In a statement, acting Palace spokesperson Martin Andanar said government is still reviving the pandemic-battered economy by loosening COVID-19 restrictions in tourism and the education sector.
Despite this though, Andanar admitted that "much more needs to be done to lift Filipino families from their poor condition."
"We have accelerated social and economic recovery while managing the risk due to COVID-19. For the immediate term, our efforts include shifting to Alert Level 1 to further improve the performance of key sectors such as tourism and opening of schools for face-to-face learning," he said.
"We have... adopted a Ten-Point Policy Agenda for Economic Recovery last April 2022 where all government agencies are directed to ensure all-related policies, programs and measures of the government are aligned with [it]"
Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order that laid out his 10-point agenda for economic recovery amid the threat of COVID-19, which included looser virus restrictions, further reopening the economy, and preparations for pandemic resilience.
Malacañang earlier vowed that the country would achieve the so-called "new normal" and fully vaccinate 90 million of the eligible population from COVID-19 before the President steps down by June.