Over half of Filipino families consider themselves poor – SWS

Angela Casauay

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Over half of Filipino families consider themselves poor – SWS
While the self-rated poverty rate for the last quarter of 2014 improves by 3 points from September, the average rate of families who consider themselves as poor for the entire 2014 increases from previous years

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – An estimated 11.4 million families in the Philippines consider themselves poor, according to the results of the Fourth Quarter 2014 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. 

The figure corresponds to 52% of families in the Philippines.  

The results of the latest SWS survey revealed record-high levels of poverty thresholds in various regions. This corresponds to the minimum monthly budget a household needs to not consider itself as poor.  

In the last quarter of 2014, the survey showed self-rated poverty went up by 3 points from 55% in September. However, this change is within the error margin of 3 percentage points. 

For the entire 2014, self-rated poverty among families stood at 54%. Considering error margins of 1.5 percentage points, self-rated poverty in 2014 remained unchanged from previous years (52% in 2013 and 2012). 

Here are the results for self-rated poverty across regions in December:

  • Manila – 24%
  • Visayas – 51%
  • Balance Luzon – 37%
  • Mindanao – 52% 

Poverty incidence in the Philippines has remained unchanged since 2006. As of the first semester of 2013, government figures show the poverty rate among families in the country stands at 19.1%.   

Record-high poverty tresholds 

The SWS also surveyed “poverty thresholds” or how much money families need for expenses to not consider themselves as poor. 

The survey calculated the median poverty threshold for households – or “the home expense budget that would satisfy the poorer half of the poor households.”

Results showed families living in the following areas need the corresponding amount to be out of self-rated poverty:

  • Metro Manila – P20,000
  • Balance Luzon – P8,000
  • Visayas – P12,000
  • Mindanao – P10,000

The self-rated poverty tresholds in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao in December 2014 were the highest ever recorded, the SWS said. 

Meanwhile, families surveyed said they need the following monthly budget for food in order to consider themselves above the poverty level:

  • Metro Manila – P9,000
  • Balance Luzon – P4,000
  • Visayas – P5,000
  • Mindanao – P4,000 

Results from Metro Manila and Visayas for 2014 were at the highest levels ever reached in those areas, the SWS said.

Conducted from November 27 to December 1, the SWS survey included face-to-face interviews of 1,800 adults nationwide, 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao, and 900 in the Visayas.

The survey results were first published in BusinessWorld.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story did not accurately interpret the statistics. 


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