9.4M Filipinos think they’re poor–SWS
MANILA, Philippines — Around 9.4 million Filipinos, or 52 percent consider themselves poor in the third quarter of this year, down seven percentage points from 59 percent in the previous quarter, an independent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
The study, conducted nationwide from September 24 to 27 to 1,500 respondents, and had a +/-2.5 percent error margin, also showed that 29 percent considered themselves on the “borderline” of being poor, while 19 percent said they were not poor, the SWS said in a statement.
The SWS said that the self-rated poverty rate dropped as households continued tightening their belts.
The median self-rated poverty threshold or the monthly household income which Filipinos think would be needed so that they would not consider themselves poor would be P10,000 in Metro Manila, P6,000 in Luzon, and P5,000 each in the Visayas and Mindanao.
The drop in self-rated poverty was biggest in Mindanao, where 52 percent said they were poor, down 16 percentage points from 68 percent in the second quarter, according to the survey.
Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the survey results showed that the government’s efforts at alleviating poverty were working.
“Although we know that there is still work to be done, this is also welcome news… This is a result of the work of President [Gloria Macapagal-] Arroyo towards providing assistance to the poor,” he told reporters in Malacañang.
In Metro Manila, self-rated poverty eased three percentage points to 48 percent from 51 percent. In Luzon, excluding the metropolis, it dropped two percentage points to 51 percent from 53 percent.
In the Visayas, self-rated poverty dropped seven points to 59 percent from 66 percent.
The study also showed that 38 percent of Filipinos considered themselves as food poor, 37 percent on the “borderline,” while 25 percent said they were not food poor.
For the first time since the SWS conducted a similar survey in 1988, food poverty was lowest in Mindanao, 57 percent, down 26 points from the previous quarter.
Self-rated food poverty was at 44 percent in the Visayas, 38 percent in the rest of Luzon, and 40 percent in Metro Manila.
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