SWS: Slightly fewer Pinoy families consider themselves as ‘poor’

A slightly lower number of Filipino families — about 9.5 million families — considered themselves as “poor,” the latest survey of pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) said.

The results of SWS’ third-quarter poll made exclusive to BusinessWorld.

The survey, conducted from August 24 to 27, found that 47% of 1,200 respondents nationwide (equivalent to around 9.5 million families) considered themselves as “poor.”

The latest figure is four percentage points down from 51% (an estimated 10.3 million families) based on the results of an SWS survey in May this year.

BusinessWorld said the last time that self-rated poverty fell below 50% was in December 2011 when the poverty rating was at 45%.

The lowest recorded self-poverty rating stands at 43% — March 1987 and March 2010.

Food poor

Meanwhile, the SWS’ latest survey found that fewer families claimed to be “food-poor.”

The SWS said only 35% of the respondents (around 7.2 million families) counted themselves as food poor.

This figure is four points lower than the August rating of 39 percent (around 7.9 million families).

March 2010 saw a record low food poverty rating of 31%.

Signs of improvement

Meanwhile, according to BusinessWorld, Malacañang said the improvements in poverty ratings were a sign that the Aquino government’s efforts :to achieve inclusive growth were being felt. ”

The SWS, on the other hand, attributed the gains to “further belt-tightening” by Filipino families.

The SWS said “poor families have been lowering their living standards, i.e., belt-tightening.”

Poverty scores

SWS said poverty scores generally improved, except in the Visayas:
• Mindanao (57% from 65%),
• Metro Manila (35% from 41%),
• Balance Luzon (38% from 43%), and
• Visayas (63% from 57%).

Poverty scores fell in both rural and urban areas:
• by five points in urban areas to 37%, and
• by three points to 58% in rural areas.

Self-rated food poverty, from three months earlier, improved throughout the country except the Visayas:
• Mindanao (45% from 53%),
• Balance Luzon (29% from 32%),
• Metro Manila (24% from 25%),
• Visayas (47% from 46%)

Median poverty threshold

Meanwhile, the median poverty threshold remained steady only in Metro Manila and the Visayas:
• P15,000 in Metro Manila, and
• P10,000 in the Visayas.

On the other hand, median povery threshold fell in Balance Luzon and Mindanao:
• P8,000 in Balance Luzon, and
• P7,000 in Mindanao.
– VVP, GMA News

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