AT least 10 million Filipino families still consider themselves poor despite a slight improvement showing that a lesser number of Filipinos claiming their families are poor and food poor, the third quarter survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) from September 27-30 showed.
The non-commissioned survey, which involved 1,800 adult respondents nationwide with a ±2.3 percent margin of error, showed that 41.8 percent of families (estimated 10.3 million families) consider themselves as “mahirap” or poor, which is an improvement from the 45 percent (estimated 11 million) in June 2019 while 58.2 percent (estimated 14.4 million families) do not consider themselves as poor or non-poor (down from 54.9 percent in June)..
The September survey also found 29 percent of families (estimated 7.1 million) rate their families as food poor, which is a 6-point recovery from the 35 percent (estimated 8.5 million) in June.
The SWS said the Self-Rated Poverty (SRP) Threshold, or minimum monthly budget that poor families need for home expenses in order not to consider themselves poor, was recorded at P10,000 in September, down from P15,000 in June, while the Self-Rated Food Poverty (SRFP) Threshold or minimum monthly food budget that one needs in order for them not to be considerd as food poor is P5,000 or slightly lower than the P6,000 in June.
The polling firm attributed the 3-point improvement in overall self rated-poverty rating to the 3 to 6 points improvements in Metro Manila (25 percent from 31 percent), Luzon (34 percent from 40 percent) and Mindanao (53 percent from 56 percent). The self-rated poverty rating, however, worsened in the Visayas by 4 points (59 percent from 55 percent).
It added that the 41.8 percent estimated self rated poor is composed of 30.7 percent that claimed that they had been “always poor” (down from 36.9 percent in June), 5.4 percent that said that they are “usually poor” (up from 3.3 percent), and 5.6 percent that said that they are “newly poor” (up from 4.8 percent).
The 58.2 percent that rated themselves as non-poor are composed of 13 percent of families (up from 12.1 percent) who said they are newly non-poor; 15.7 percent (up from 13.8 percent) as unusually poor, and 19. 4 percent (up from 28.7 percent) as always non-poor.
SWS defines the “newly non-poor” families as those who used to be poor one to four years ago; “usually non-poor” as those who used to be poor five or more years ago; “always non-poor” as those who have never considered themselves as poor; “newly poor” as families that used to be non-poor one to four ago; “usually poor” as those who used to be non-poor five or more years ago; and “always poor” as those who have always considered themselves as poor.
The improved food poor rating was composed of an 11-point drop in Mindanao (36 percent from 47 percent), and 6-point decline in Metro Manila (16 percent from 22 percent) and Luzon (24 percent from 30 percent) and the increase in the Visayas (42 percent from 39 percent).
SWS also found that SRP thresholds by areas are: P20,000 in Metro Manila (unchanged from June), P14,000 in Luzon (up from 12,000), and P10,000 in the Visayas (unchanged) and P10,000 in Mindanao (down from P15,000) while the SRFP Thresholds by area are as follows: P10,000 in Metro Manila (up from P9,000), P7,000 in Luzon (up from P6,000), P5,000 in the Visayas (unchanged) and P5,000 in Mindanao (down from P8,000).