5 out of 10 fam­i­lies con­sider them­selves poor, sur­vey says

Sun.Star Baguio - - The Na­tion - SunS­tar Philip­pines/ Ruth Abbey Gita

FIVE out of 10 Filipino fam­i­lies con­sider them­selves poor, the lat­est So­cial Weather Sta­tions (SWS) sur­vey showed.

The sur­vey, which was con­ducted on Septem­ber 15 to 23, found that 52 per­cent, es­ti­mated at 12.2 mil­lion fam­i­lies, per­ceived them­selves as poor.

This is four per­cent­age points higher than the 48 per­cent (es­ti­mated 11.1 mil­lion) recorded in June and the high­est un­der the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion.

"This is the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive in­crease in Self-Rated Poverty in 2018. Since the 42 per­cent recorded in March 2018, Self-Rated Poverty has in­creased by 10 [per­cent­age] points in to­tal," the SWS noted.

Of the 52 per­cent, 39 per­cent never ex­pe­ri­enced be­ing non-poor (al­ways poor), six per­cent were not poor five or more years ago (usu­ally poor), and eight per­cent were those who used to be non-poor one to four years ago (newly poor).

The self-rated poverty rate rose by four per­cent­age points na­tion­wide in the third quar­ter of 2018 be­cause of sharp in­creases in Bal­ance Lu­zon (47 per­cent from 35 per­cent) and Min­danao (65 per­cent from 60 per­cent).

This was off­set by a sharp de­cline in Metro Manila (26 per­cent from 43 per­cent), and a flat rate in the Visayas (67 per­cent).

In order for Filipino fam­i­lies to con­sider them­selves as non-poor, a min­i­mum monthly bud­get of P15,000 for both Metro Manila and Bal­ance Lu­zon res­i­dents, and P10,000 for peo­ple in the Visayas and in Min­danao would suf­fice.

The same SWS sur­vey showed that 36 per­cent (es­ti­mated 8.5 mil­lion) of fam­i­lies rated their food as "poor," up by two per­cent­age points from the 34 per­cent (es­ti­mated 7.8 mil­lion fam­i­lies) posted in June 2018 and the high­est since the 37 per­cent in June 2015.

The two-per­cent­age­point in­crease was due to in­creases in Bal­ance Lu­zon (31 per­cent from 26 per­cent), Visayas (49 per­cent from 45 per­cent), and Min­danao (46 per­cent from 45 per­cent), and a de­crease in Metro Manila (21 per­cent from 23 per­cent).

Res­i­dents of Manila, Visayas, and Min­danao need a monthly food bud­get of P5,000, while those in Bal­ance Lu­zon should have P6,000, in order for them not to con­sider their food as poor.

In a state­ment, Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Harry Roque Jr. at­trib­uted the in­crease in the num­ber of Filipinos who con­sider them­selves and their food as poor to the coun­try's 6.7-per­cent in­fla­tion rate in Septem­ber, as well as to the dam­age to agri­cul­ture and in­fra­struc­ture caused by Typhoon Om­pong.

The Palace of­fi­cial, nev­er­the­less, as­sured that the govern­ment is work­ing dou­ble time to tame in­fla­tion.

He also cited that Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte al­ready gave a di­rec­tive to en­sure "unim­peded" rice im­por­ta­tions in the coun­try.

“Nau­u­nawaan namin ang sen­timyento ng at­ing mga kababayan (We un­der­stand our coun­try­men's sen­ti­ments)... Govern­ment has thus im­ple­mented mea­sures to cush­ion the im­pact of in­fla­tion and bring food on the ta­ble of poor fam­i­lies," Roque said.

"Walang pam­ilyang Pilipino ang da­pat magutom. Iyan ang atas at hangarin ng Pan­gulo (No Filipino fam­i­lies should ex­pe­ri­ence hunger. That's the Pres­i­dent's di­rec­tive and dream)," he added.

The SWS in­ter­viewed 1,500 adult Filipinos by us­ing sam­pling er­ror mar­gins of ±3 per­cent­age points for na­tional per­cent­ages, and ±6 per­cent­age points each for Metro Manila, Bal­ance Lu­zon, Visayas, and Min­danao.

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