SWS poll: More Filipinos consider themselves poor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 20) — Results of a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed a sizeable rise — by about 1.6 million in the three months to June — in the number of Filipino families that consider themselves poor.

The pollster's Second Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey said 45 percent of Filipino families (around 11 million of the estimated 24.6 million families nationwide) said they were poor. This is seven percentage points higher than in March 2019, where it stood at a record low of 38 percent (around 9.5 million families).

SWS also noted the rise in self-rated poor (SRP) families snapped a steady decline of the previous three quarters: 52 percent in the quarter ended September 2018, 50 percent in December 2018, the January-March quarter's 38 percent.

Of the families that considered themselves poor in June, around 1.2 million were not poor 1-to-4 years ago, and another 814,000 were non-poor 5 or more years ago.

The latest survey, conducted June 22-26, also revealed that from this number, 35 percent (8.5 million families) rated their food as poor. The median amount a family needs to earn to pay for household expenses andconsider itself not poor also rose to ₱15,000 from the previous quarter's ₱10,000, according to the survey.

The number of self-rated poor families was especially high in Mindanao where it rose by 19 point from March — from 37 percent last March to 56 percent in June.

It also rose in Metro Manila (up by 5 points) and Balance Luzon — the areas on the island not in Metro Manila (up by 3 points) — but remained unchanged in the Visayas (at 55 percent).

The threshold income before a family starts considering itself to be poor in Metro Manila in June was ₱20,000, ₱12,000 in Balance Luzon, ₱10,000 in the Visayas, and ₱15,000 in Mindanao.

On average families also need a minimum monthly food budget of ₱6,000. By area, the amount would be ₱9,000 in Metro Manila, ₱6,000 in Balance Luzon, ₱5,000 in the Visayas, and ₱8,000 in Mindanao, th SWS survey showed.

The SWS' 2nd Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey polled nationwide 1,200 adults 18 years old and above. The survey had a sampling error margin of ±3 percent for national percentages.