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Near record-low 10.5 million Filipino families rate selves poor, says SWS

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Some 10.5 million Filipino families consider themselves poor in late June, according to a new survey by pollster Social Weather Stations.

The SWS said the survey, which it conducted June 24 to 27, showed self-rated poverty was near the record-low 45 percent in December 2011, though the record-low self-rated poverty rate was 43 percent in March 2010 and March 1987.

It added the survey showed a record-low number of households considering themselves food-poor, at 6.9 million or 31 percent.

SWS, which released its survey results Aug. 4 via its media partner BusinessWorld, noted the June figures were lower than the 46 percent self-rated poverty in April (

* Geographic areas

The survey noted declines in self-rated poverty in the Visayas and Balance Luzon, along with increases in Metro Manila and Mindanao.

Self-rated poverty in the Visayas fell to 52 percent, from the 57 percent in April, and below the 2015 average of 66 percent.

In Balance Luzon, self-rated poverty was at 41 percent, down from 44 percent in April. It was below the 43-percent average in 2015.

In Metro Manila, 32 percent considered themselves poor, higher than the 30 percent in April. But it was still below the 2015 average.

In Mindanao, it was 54 percent, higher than the 53 percent in April but still below the 63-percent average in 2015.

* Food-poor

The SWS survey also found 31 percent or about 6.9 million families, considered the type of food they eat as “mahirap,” matching the results in April.

It added this was below the 35-percent average in 2015 and the lowest self-rated food poverty since the record-low 31 percent in March 2010.

The ratio of food-poor families fell to 20 percent in Metro Manila, the lowest since March 2015. It was 22 percent in April.

In Balance Luzon, food poverty fell to 27 percent from 29 percent in April.

In Visayas, it rose to 37 percent from 33 percent in April, but was still below the 2015 average of 44 percent in Visayas.

In Mindanao, it rose to 39 percent from 37 percent in April, but was still below the 2015 Mindanao average of 51 percent.

* Benchmarks

The June 2016 survey also found families raised the standards from which they base their self-assessment of being financially and food poor.

Meanwhile, the median self-rated poverty threshold, or the lowest monthly home expense budget needed by the poorer half of poor households not to consider themselves as such, was P20,000 in Metro Manila, P15,000 in Balance Luzon, and P10,000 in Visayas and Mindanao.

Median food poverty threshold, or the lowest monthly food budget needed by the poorer half of “food-poor” families not to consider themselves as such, was P10,000 in Metro Manila, a record-high P8,000 in Balance Luzon, and P5,000 in Visayas and Mindanao.

SWS said the April 2016 median Self-Rated Food Poverty threshold in the Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are “at the highest levels ever reached in those areas.”

* Survey background

The survey had sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.