FILIPINO families who rated themselves “mahirap” or poor fell in the last quarter of the 2018, according to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The poll from December 16 to 19 showed 50 percent of 1,440 adults respondents, or an estimated 11.6 million families, rated themselves poor.
This is two percentage points below last quarter’s 52 percent, ending the 10-point rise throughout the year.
“The proportion of self-rated poor families was at 42 percent in March 2018. It rose by six points to 48 percent in June, and by four points to 52 percent in September. It subsided by two points to 50 percent in December,” the polling firm said.
“Nevertheless, the resulting average self-rated poverty rate of 48 percent for 2018 is two points above the average 46 percent in 2017, and four points above record-low average of 44 percent in 2016. This is the second consecutive increase in the annual self-rated poverty rate since 2016,” it added.
SWS attributed the decrease in self-rated poverty nationwide to a sharp 16-point decline in Mindanao (49 percent), and a six-point decrease in the Visayas (61 percent).
However, self-rated poverty increased by four points both in Balance Luzon (51 percent) and Metro Manila (30 percent).
Meanwhile, the number of families who consider themselves “food-poor” fell to 34 percent (7.9 million families) from 36 percent in September.
It decreased by eight points in Mindanao (38 percent) and five points in Visayas (44 percent), while it went up by one point in Metro Manila (22 percent), and remain unchanged in Balance Luzon (31 percent).
According to SWS, self-rated food poverty measures the proportion of respondents rating the food their family eats as poor or mahirap.
Of the 50 percent self-rated poor families, 37 percent said they were “always poor,” while the remaining 13 percent slipped into poverty.
Of the other half of the respondents who do not consider themselves poor, 27 percent said they have never experienced poverty. The remaining 15 percent said pulled themselves out of poverty.
SWS said the median self-rated poverty threshold – the monthly budget that a poor household needs for home expenses in order not to consider itself poor in general – is P10,000.
The median self-rated poverty gap – the amount poor families lack in monthly home expenses relative to their stated threshold – was unchanged at P5,000, or half of the self-rated poverty threshold, it added.
The fourth quarter poll, using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide, had sampling error margins of ±2.6 percent for national percentages, and ±5 percent each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The area estimates were weighted by Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2018 to obtain the national estimates, SWS said.