Nearly half of Filipinos feel 'poor', SWS survey shows

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 01:35 AM | Updated as of Aug 03 2022 06:50 PM

A resident uses plastic sacks and scrap wood as he strengthens a shanty in Baseco Community in Tondo Manila on June 11, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
A resident uses plastic sacks and scrap wood as he strengthens a shanty in Baseco Community in Tondo Manila on June 11, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – Nearly half or 48 percent of Filipino families feel poor, according to results of a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Tuesday.

Of 1,500 adults polled on June 26 to 29 this year, 31 percent said they were borderline poor while 21 percent said they were not poor.

"The estimated numbers of self-rated poor families are 12.2 million in June 2022 and 10.9 million in April 2022," the survey said.

Self-rated poor Filipinos rose in all areas, especially in Metro Manila and the Visayas.

Compared to April 2022, they increased in the Visayas from 48% to 64%, and in Metro Manila from 32% to 41%, while their numbers slightly went up in Mindanao from 60% to 62%. 

Balance Luzon came from 35% to 36%.

The "borderline" poor, meanwhile, decreased in the Visayas from 46% to 26%, and in Metro Manila from 42% to 22%. In Mindanao, they also declined from 33% to 31%, while it went up in Balance Luzon from 28% to 36%.

At the same time, "not poor" Filipinos rose in Metro Manila from 26% to 37%, and in the Visayas, from 6% to 10%. In Mindanao, they stayed at 7%, while they decreased in Balance Luzon, from 37% to 28%.

The survey also showed that 34% of families rated themselves as "food-poor", based on the type of food they eat. Forty percent rated themselves as "borderline" food-poor while 26% said they were not either. 

"The estimated numbers of self-rated food-poor families are 8.7 million in June 2022 and 7.9 million in April 2022," the SWS said, adding they increased in all areas except Mindanao.

The survey also showed that the "total percentage of poor families consists of 8.8% who were non-poor 1 to 4 years ago." 

"Of the estimated 12.2 million self-rated poor families in June 2022, 2.2 million were newly poor, 1.6 million were usually poor, and 8.4 million were always poor," it said.

The SWS also noted that of the estimated 13.3 million self-rated non-poor families in June 2022, "5.3 million were newly non-poor, 3.0 million were usually non-poor, and 5.0 million were always non-poor."

The Commission on Population and Development (Popcom), citing PSA's figures, said last May that the COVID-19 pandemic has driven more Filipinos into poverty, noting that compared to the first half of 2018, more families plunged into poverty in the same period of 2021, or a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Popcom said the figure is equivalent to 23 percent of the population who were on the poverty line or those earning below P12,000 monthly. 

According to the report, the regions hit hardest by the pandemic registered the biggest increase in the number of poor Filipinos.

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