poverty in the Philippines

Pandemic pushes 26.1 million Filipinos to poverty

Ralf Rivas

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Pandemic pushes 26.1 million Filipinos to poverty

POVERTY. Residents queue to receive the emergency fund assistance of P4,000 per family at a covered court in Baseco Tondo, Manila.


A family of five now needs at least P12,082 per month to meet the most basic food and non-food needs
Pandemic pushes 26.1 million Filipinos to poverty

MANILA, Philippines – The poverty incidence among Filipinos rose to 23.7% in the first semester of 2021, equivalent to 26.1 million Filipinos, based on the official poverty statistics of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The latest figures are higher than what were recorded in 2018, when the poverty incidence was 21.1%, equivalent to 22.26 million Filipinos. 

This translates to 3.9 million more Filipinos living in poverty amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At the family level, poverty incidence stood at 18%, higher than the 16.2% recorded three years ago. This is equivalent to 4.74 million families, higher than the 4.04 million in 2018.

A family of five now needs at least P12,082 to meet the most basic food and non-food needs, 14.7% higher than the monthly average of P10,532 in 2018. 

National Statistician Dennis Mapa emphasized that one is considered not poor if a family earns over the said amount, as it is only a threshold.

Meanwhile, the proportion of Filipino families whose incomes were less than the food threshold or P8,393 stood at 7.1%. One in 10 Filipinos were considered food poor in the first semester of 2021.

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The National Capital Region posted the lowest poverty incidence among families at 5.2%.

Meanwhile, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao posted the highest at 39.4%.

“Regions with stricter quarantines tended to see larger increases in poverty compared to regions under less stringent quarantines. For instance, the poverty incidence in Regions III, IV-A, and VII increased by over 4 percentage points. The poverty incidence in the National Capital Region also increased by around 1.2 percentage points,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.