MANILA – Fewer Filipinos consider themselves poor in the latest self-rated poverty survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS), but the pollster noted that the annualized average is the worst in 8 years.
The result of the November 27 - Dec 1, first published on BusinessWorld, said the nationwide self-poverty rate went down by 3 percentage points to 52 percent -- equivalent to about 11.4 million households.
SWS, however, attributed the dip in nationwide self-rated poverty rate to the 7-point drop in “Balance Luzon” as the rate was steady elsewhere.
The 52% nationwide self-rated poverty rate for the fourth quarter brings 2014’s full-year average to 54%. SWS said this is the worst nationwide self-poverty rate under the Aquino administration and the same average in 2006.
SWS said self-rated poverty in Metro Manila stayed at 43%. This brings the annual average for Metro Manila to 40%, the lowest figure in seven years.
Meanwhile, in Balance Luzon, self-rated poverty rate fell seven points to 52% from 45%. This makes the 2014 average for Balance Luzon at 48%, the same as the 2013 average.
Self-rated poverty in the Visayas stayed at 65%, resulting in a full-year average of 67%, the worst in three years.
In Mindanao, 60% of the respondents said they experienced poverty in the fourth quarter, bringing the 2014 average to 62% -- seven percentage points above 2013’s 55% but an improvement to 2012’s 67%.
The SWS survey asked 1,800 adults nationwide. It has sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages; ±6% each for Metro Manila, “Balance Luzon” and Mindanao; and ±3% for the Visayas.
Meanwhile, 41% of the respondents, equivalent to 9.1 million families, claimed they were poor in terms of food. This was down by two points compared to the figure in the September 2014 survey.
The fourth quarter self-rated food poverty rate brings this year’s average to 41%, which is worse than 2013’s 39% and the same as 2012’s rate.
Self-rated food poverty in Metro Manila fell six points to 24%, resulting in a full-year average of 27% or two points below 2013’s 29%.
Balance Luzon had a self-rated food poverty rate of 37% in the fourth quarter, bringing the 2014 average to 36%, which is unchanged from 2013.
In the Visayas, self-rated food poverty only dipped by two points point to 51%, bringing the 2014 average for the region to 51% - the worst in 11 years or since 2003’s 62%.
Mindanao’s figure remained at 52%, bringing the full-year average to 50%, six points above the 2013 average of 44%.
SWS said the self-rated poverty threshold increased to record highs P20,000 in Metro Manila and P12,000 in the Visayas (from P15,000 and P8,000, respectively).
The amount remained at P10,000 and Mindanao. From P10,000, it fell to P8,000 in Balance Luzon.
Self-rated poverty threshold is defined as the “home expense budget that would satisfy the poorer half of the poor households” and “less than the minimum income that they need”.
Meanwhile, the self-rated food poverty threshold - the monthly food budget that food-poor households need in order not to consider themselves food-poor - also saw record highs in Metro Manila and the Visayas, SWS said.
Self-rated food poverty threshold rose to P9,000 from P8,000 in Metro Manila. It went up to P5,000 from P3,550 in the Visayas.
Self-rated food poverty threshold in Balance Luzon dropped to P4,000 from P5,250. It also dropped to P4,000 from P5,000 in Mindanao. (ABS-CBNnews. com)