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SWS: Fewer Pinoys say they are poor

By: Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola

Fewer Filipino families have said they are poor, according to the latest Social Weather Stations self-rated poverty survey.

The nationwide survey conducted from June 23 to 26 among 1,200 respondents found out that 44 percent or 10.1 million families consider themselves poor, down by six points from 50 percent or 11.5 million in March.

The SWS attributed the decrease to the easing poverty in Balance Luzon and Metro Manila, which declined by 16 points to 34 percent and eight points to 28 percent from the previous survey and tempered the increase in the Visayas (seven points to 64 percent) and Mindanao (four points to 57 percent).

Meanwhile, the survey also found out that 32 percent or 7.3 million families consider themselves “food poor,” a three-point or 800,000 decrease from the 8.1 million families or 35 percent three months ago.

Self-rated food poverty in Balance Luzon declined by 15 points to 27 percent and Metro Manila by five points to 16 percent.

However, it went up in the Visayas (11 points to 44 percent) and Mindanao (six points to 41 percent).

Respondents set P10,000 as their monthly budget for them not to be considered poor but said they lack P5,000 to meet that threshold.

The threshold was highest in Metro Manila at P20,000, followed by Balance Luzon at P15,000, and Visayas and Mindanao at P10,000.

For self-rated food poverty, the threshold was P6,000 but the respondents said they were short of P2,500.

Self-rated food poverty threshold in Metro Manila is P9,000, P6,000 in Balance Luzon, and P5,000 in the Visayas and in Mindanao.

Self-rated poverty is defined by the SWS as the proportion of respondents rating their family as poor or “mahirap.”