53% of Filipinos consider themselves poor – SWS

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A new survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that 53 percent of Filipinos, which is equivalent to 11.5 million households, consider themselves poor.

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This is slightly lower than the 55 percent recorded in December 2013.

The survey conducted from March 27 to 30 also found that 39 percent, or about 8.5 million families, claim to be poor in terms of food. This is two percent lower than the 41 percent who rated themselves “food-poor” last December.

The SWS poll, which was first published in Business World, used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adult Filipinos. The questions were addressed to the head of the household.

The respondents were asked if they regarded their families as poor, not poor or on the line, with regard to poverty and food poverty.

They were also asked how much money would be required so that their households would not to be considered poor.

While fewer families rated themselves poor, the SWS noted that the amount of money they needed in order to not be considered poor increased.

For Metro Manila, the amount was pegged at P15,000, while for Balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, it was P10,000.

Similar record-highs were seen when it came to the self-rated food poverty threshold, with the monthly food budget, in order not to be considered food-poor, reaching P7,000 in Metro Manila and P5,000 each in Balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

The 2014 food poverty percentage is down two points from the 41 percent who rated themselves “food-poor” last December, and is the same as last year’s average.

The pollster said self-rated poverty went down by nine points to 37 percent in Metro Manila, 64 percent in Visayas and 56 percent in Mindanao.

Food poverty figures also fell in Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. It fell seven points to 25 percent in Metro Manila and 40 percent in Mindanao. It dipped six points in the Visayas to 46 percent.

Food poverty rose in Balance Luzon to 39 percent, however.

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

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