Fewer Filipinos say they are poor: SWS


Posted at Jul 21 2017 08:54 AM

MANILA - For the first time in 3 quarters, the percentage of Filipinos who believe they are poor dropped, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) released Friday.

Forty-four percent of 1,200 respondents in the June poll considered themselves as poor. This translates to around 10.1 million families, the SWS said in a statement.

Self-rated poverty declined 6 points from 50 percent or 11.5 million families last March, the SWS said.

When President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in June 2016, self-rated poverty was at 45 percent. It fell to 42 percent in September but rose to 44 percent in December and then to 50 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

SWS attributed the decrease in self-rated poverty nationwide to lower scores in Balance Luzon and Metro Manila, which tempered slight increases in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Balance Luzon refers to the main northern region excluding the capital.

Self-rated poverty slipped 16 points in Balance Luzon to 34 percent and 8 points in Metro Manila to 28 percent.

It rose 7 points in the Visayas to 64 percent and 4 points in Mindanao to 57 percent.

The 2nd quarter reading also showed that only 32 percent of those polled considered the type of food they eat as "mahirap" or "food-poor." This was 3 points below the 35 percent logged in the previous quarter.

Respondents said they needed a monthly budget of P10,000 for them not to be considered poor. However, they lack P5,000 to meet that monthly threshold.

For self-rated food poverty, the threshold was P6,000 a month but respondents said they were short of that by P2,500.

"These values are higher in the June 2017 survey compared to their March 2017 counterparts, meaning families are in need of more money and lack more money to escape food poverty," SWS noted.
Duterte has promised to uplift the poor by spreading development to the countryside, increasing spending on agriculture and lowering income tax rates.

The June 23 to 26 SWS survey was first published by BusinessWorld, and has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6 points each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.