SWS: Number of Filipino families that consider themselves ‘poor’ drop to new record low

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SWS says only about 9.5 million Filipino families deem themselves as ‘poor’ in its latest survey (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 19) — The number Filipino families who consider themselves “poor” or the self-rated poverty rate in the country, has dropped to its lowest recorded score, a national survey said Tuesday.

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) released its 2019 first quarter results for its self-rated poverty survey, showing that only 38 percent of Filipino families (9.5 million) consider themselves as poor. This is a new record-low, SWS said, four points below the previous record of 42 percent in September 2016 and March 2018.

The rate is also 12 points below the previous survey result of 50 percent (11.6 million) in December 2018.

SWS said a family needs an average monthly budget of at least P10,000 in order not to see itself as poor.

The survey also showed a new record-low for families who rated their food as poor. The March 2019 survey said only 27 percent of Filipino families (6.8 million) considered themselves as “food-poor.”

The survey found that the self-rated poverty rate in Mindanao also hit a new record-low. Thirty seven percent of Filipino families from Mindanao saw themselves as poor, one point below the lowest recorded score of 38 percent in the area last December 2011.

The overall 38 percent self-rated poverty score was due to drops in scores in all areas — Balance Luzon (16-point drop), Mindanao (12-point drop), Visayas (six-point drop) and Metro Manila (two-point drop), SWS explained.

Malacañang welcomed the news, saying the government will continue its poverty reduction efforts. Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo said they aim to bring about six million Filipinos out of poverty by 2022.

“Poverty reduction efforts, particularly those designed for the lowest rung of society, remains on track,” Panelo said in a statement Wednesday.

The agency conducted the survey from March 28 to 31 through face-to-face interviews with 1,440 adults — 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. The survey has a sampling margin of error of 2.6 percent for national percentages and 5 percent each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.