Self-rated poverty rises to 55%

Posted at 05/03/12 12:04 PM

11M families think they're poor: SWS

Nearly 3 out of 4 families in Mindanao say they're poor

MANILA, Philippines - Self-rated poverty surged by 10 percentage points in the first quarter of 2012, with 11.1 million Filipino families saying they are poor, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed Thursday.

The survey, which was conducted last March 10-13, 2012, showed self-rated poverty rising to 55% of Filipino families, up from the 45% recorded last December 2011.

Self-rated poverty incidence nearly doubled in Mindanao, from 38% in December to 72% in March. Self-rated poverty in Mindanao is now the highest in 8 years or since November 2003 when it hit 77%.

Self-rated poverty also rose by 9 percentage points in the Visayas, from 52% to 61%, during the period. It remained at 45% in Balance Luzon while dropping 1 percentage point in Metro Manila, from 47% to 46%.

The survey also found that 45% or an estimated 9.1 million families consider themselves poor in terms of food, nine points up from the 36% or estimated 7.2 million recorded in the previous quarter.

The survey, which was first published in BusinessWorld, used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

In the survey, the self-rated poverty threshold -- the monthly budget that poor households need in order not to consider themselves poor in general -- remained sluggish despite inflation, which the SWS said was an indication of belt tightening.

The median poverty threshold for poor households rose to P10,000 in Balance Luzon, P12,000 in Metro Manila, P8,000 in the Visayas and P7,000 in Mindanao, while the median food-poverty threshold for poor households rose to P6,500 in Metro Manila, P5,000 in Balance Luzon, P4,500 in the Visayas and P4,000 in Mindanao.

The latest thresholds have already been surpassed in the past for all areas, the SWS said. With a report from BusinessWorld