Social Weather Stations

11.4 million Filipino families consider themselves poor – SWS

Aika Rey

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11.4 million Filipino families consider themselves poor – SWS

Residents of Baseco Compound in Manila wait at a covered court on Wednesday April 7, 2021, for the emergency cash fund of P4,000 from the national government as assistance to those affected by the reimposition of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.


There are fewer Filipino households who consider themselves poor in September 2021 compared to June 2021, according to the Third Quarter 2021 Social Weather Survey

About 11.4 million Filipino families considered themselves poor in the third quarter of 2021, according to the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey held in September but released only on Saturday, November 27.

The Third Quarter 2021 Social Weather Survey results showed that 34% or an estimated 11.4 million Filipino families rated themselves as poor – lower than the June survey figures of 48% or an estimated 12 million Filipino families.

The survey was conducted from September 12 to 16, among 1,200 adult respondents – 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

The error margins for the survey it at ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Compared to the June survey results, there were less households that consider themselves as food poor in the September – 7.5 million families, compared to 8.2 million families in June.

Self-rated poverty dipped in the Visayas (from 70% to 54%) and in Metro Manila (from 43% to 34%), but rose in President Rodrigo Duterte’s home region, Mindanao (from 51% to 58%). It stayed at 38% in Balance Luzon

Self-rated food poverty

The SWS said self-rated food poverty fell in all areas – also except in Mindanao. In the third quarter, self-rated food poverty fell in the Visayas (from 40% to 30%), Metro Manila (from 30% to 24%), and slightly dipped in Balance Luzon (from 29% to 26%).

In Mindanao, however, seld-rated food poverty rose from 34% to 40%.

The latest survey also found that some 6.9% or 1.7 million of the self-rated poor households were “newly poor” or those who feel that they were not poor at least one to four years ago.

Those who rated themselves as borderline poor, meanwhile, increased 5 percentage points to 34% in the September survey compared to 29% in June.

The survey results also showed that fewer Filipino households considered themselves not poor – 21% in the September survey, slightly down from 23% in June.

The Philippines has since relaxed domestic border controls in a bid to reopen the economy. While the Delta variant spread during the third quarter and pushed the government to reimpose restrictions, the Philippine economy still grew by 7.1%, beating forecasts. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at