AN estimated 11.2 million Filipino families see themselves as poor, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in the second quarter of the year.
The results were released on Monday simultaneously with President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) where he took pride in rolling out poverty alleviation measures such as the conditional cash transfer and technical-skills training programs and improving the business climate that resulted in job generation.
The survey was conducted from June 5 to 8 among 1,200 adult respondents nationwide using face-to-face interviews.
There were 300 respondents each from Metro Manila, rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The SWS set the margin of error at 3 percent for national percentages, and 6 percent each for Metro Manila, rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The self-rated poverty rating of 51 percent during the survey period equaled the previous quarter’s rating and a percentage point down in the last quarter of 2014.
According to the pollster, the 51 percent posted in June 2015 was the lowest since the 50 percent posted in the third quarter of 2013 and lower than the 54 percent average in 2014.
According to the survey conducted from June 25 to 28, 2010 or a few days before President-elect Aquino assumed office, the self-rated poverty was 50 percent with an estimated equivalent of 9.4 million households.
The recent poll results said 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, rose to P20,000 from P15,000 in Metro Manila; and fell by P5,000 to P10,000 in the rest of Luzon, while those of the Visayas and Mindanao remained at P10,000.
Malacañang in a statement again attributed the results to the Aquino administration’s poverty-alleviation programs.
It said the programs being focused on specific provinces is one reason why the survey showed a decrease in self-rated poverty in some areas.
“Government is focused on reducing poverty through the convergence of programs on social protection, education, livelihood and employment and housing,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.
“Priority is placed on provinces with the highest poverty incidence and vulnerability to calamities,” he added.
The SWS survey also found that 8.1 million families or 37 percent considered themselves food-poor, slightly higher than the 36 percent (7.9 million) in the first quarter.
The rating went down to 48 percent, with an estimated equivalent of 9 million households, during Aquino’s three months in office, based on the SWS’ survey released on October 20, 2010.
Based on the June 2015 survey, self-rated poverty in Metro Manila rose two points to 33 percent in the second quarter.
Nevertheless, second quarter numbers were seven points below the 2014 average of 40 percent.
In the Visayas, self-rated poverty dropped to 58 percent in the second quarter, down 12-points from the previous quarter.
This was also nine points below the 2014 Visayas average of 67 percent and the lowest since the 57 percent during 2013’s second quarter.
For the rest of Luzon, self-rated poverty dipped a point to 43 percent.
This was five points below the 2014 average of 48 percent, and the lowest since the 42 percent during 2013’s third quarter.
In Mindanao, however, self-rated poverty went up by eight points to 70 percent.
This was also eight points above the 2014 average of 62 percent.
Also, the SWS survey cited a significant drop in self-rated food poverty in the Visayas, falling to 40 percent in second quarter from the first’s 45 percent.
The Visayas’ second quarter numbers were 11 points below the 2014 average of 51 percent and the lowest since 39 percent during 2011’s third quarter.
In Balance (rest of) Luzon, self-rated food poverty rose slightly to 29 percent from the first quarter’s record-low of 28 percent.
The second quarter figures were below the 2014 Balance Luzon average of 36 percent.
In Mindanao, self-rated food poverty rose six points to 58 percent in from the previous 52 percent.
This was eight points above the 2014 Mindanao average of 52 percent and the highest since the 63 percent during 2012’s fourth quarter.
In Metro Manila, it rose to 23 percent from the first quarter’s 20 percent.
This was four points below the 2014 average of 27 percent.