‘Once pandemic is over, poverty will be reduced’

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    PRESIDENTIAL spokesman Harry Roque yesterday blamed the pandemic for the latest survey results showing that 48 percent of Filipinos claimed their families are poor and 36 percent saying they are already “borderline poor” or close to being poor.

    Roque said the findings of the November 21 to 24 survey of the Social Weather Station (SW) was “sad” but added that government expects things to get better after the pandemic.

    “That is an effect of the continued lockdown and quarantine due to the pandemic … once the pandemic is over, and all of us have returned to work, poverty will be reduced,” he said.

    He added that more people would be able to return to work and more establishments and businesses would be able to resume operations once COVID-19 vaccines reach the country’s shores.

    The SWS survey, which involved 1,500 adult respondents nationwide, found that 48 percent of Filipinos rated their families as “poor” (down from 54 percent in December 2019) while 36 percent said their families are (up from 23 percent). Sixteen percent (down from 23 percent) said their families are not poor.

    Those who claimed to be poor was highest in the Visayas with 60 percent (down from 67 percent in December 2019) followed by those in Mindanao with 54 percent (down from 64 percent), Metro Manila with 45 percent (up from 41 percent), and Luzon with 42 percent (down from 47 percent).

    Those who said their family is not poor was highest in Metro Manila with 42 percent (unchanged from December 2019), followed by those from Luzon with 20 percent (down from 29 percent), the Visayas with 6 percent (down from 12 percent), and Mindanao with 3 percent (down from 11 percent).

    SWS also found that 31 percent of families are food-poor (down from 31 percent in December 2019), while 47 percent said they feel that they are “Borderline Food-Poor” (up from 28 percent). Twenty-two percent said they are not food-poor (down from 37 percent).

    Those who claimed to be food poor was highest in the Visayas with 39 percent (down from 46 percent on December 2019), followed by those Metro Manila with 36 percent (up from 27 percent), Mindanao with 33 percent (down from 50 percent and Luzon with 25 percent (unchanged from last year).