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SWS: Over 11 million families rate themselves poor

At least 11.6 million Filipino families believe they are poor, a recent survey by the Social Weather Station (SWS) said.

The fourth quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey done by the polling firm found that 50 percent of the families (estimated at 11.6 million) consider themselves as "mahirap or poor."  This was two points below the 52 percent (estimated at 12.2 million) results in its September survey.

However, since March 2018, a 10-point increase in self-rated poverty was noted over two consecutive quarters.

SWS said that the proportion of self-rated poor families was 42 percent in March 2018; 48 percent in June; 52 percent in September; and, 50 percent in December.


The last quarter survey was conducted from December 16-19, 2018 using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ± 2.6 percent for national percentages, and ±5 percent each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao).

The area estimates were weighted by Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2018 to obtain the national estimates, SWS said.

The SWS survey questions about the family's self-rated poverty and self-rated food-poverty were directed to the household head.

The survey was non-commissioned.

Self-rated poverty fell by 16 points in Mindanao, from 65 percent in September 2018 to 49 percent in December 2018. On the average, Mindanao has a self-rated poverty of 54 percent for 2018.

In the Visayas, self-rated poverty decreased by 6 points, from 67 percent in September to 61 percent in December. Visayas has an average self-rated poverty of 62 percent for 2018.

However, self-rated poverty increased by 4 points in Balance Luzon, from 47 percent in September to 51 percent in December. For 2018, the Balance of Luzon has an average self-rated poverty of 43 percent.

In Metro Manila, there was also a four point increase in self-rated poverty, from 26 percent in September to 30 percent in December.  The average self-rated poverty for Metro Manila for 2018 is 32 percent.

The December 2018 survey also showed that 34 percent of families (est. 7.9 million) rate their food as "mahirap or poor." 

According to SWS, self-rated food poverty measures the proportion of respondents rating the food their family eats as poor or mahirap.

The median self-rated poverty threshold – the monthly budget that a poor household needs for home expenses in order not to consider itself poor in general – is P10,000, the SWS said.

The December 2018 survey found that the median self-rated poverty gap – the amount poor families lack in monthly home expenses relative to their stated threshold – was unchanged at P5,000, or half of the self-rated poverty threshold. —LDF/KG, GMA News