By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
The number of Filipino families which tagged themselves poor decreased to 9.8 million or 42 percent and the number of food-poor families reached a new record-low 6.7 million or 29 percent, the latest Social Weather Stations survey said.
In the nationwide first quarter survey conducted from March 23 to 27 with 1,200 respondents, 42 percent considered themselves as “mahirap” or poor, two points lower than the 44 percent or 10 million families in December 2017 and similar to the 42 percent in September 2016.
The SWS noted that the two-point decline in self-rated poverty in the March 2018 survey was due to a sharp decrease in Mindanao which fell by 10 points from 52 percent in December 2017 to 42 percent last month.
It was offset by slight increases in Metro Manila from 28 percent last December to 30 percent last month and a one-point increase in the Visayas from 53 percent in December to 54 percent in March.
SRP was unchanged in Balance Luzon at 40 percent in the December 2017 and March surveys.
Also in the survey, 29 percent or 6.7 million families rated themselves as food-poor, three points down from 32 percent or 7.3 million last December, and a new record-low since the 30 percent in September 2016.
The SWS noted that this was the first time that self-rated food poverty went down below 30 percent.
The three-point decline in SRFP was due to decreases in Balance Luzon, Mindanao, and Metro Manila but with a sharp increase in the Visayas.
SRFP decreased by eight points in Balance Luzon from 32 percent in December to 24 percent in March. It also decreased by five points in Mindanao and two points in Metro Manila from 36 percent to 31 percent and from 22 percent to 18 percent in December and March, respectively.