SWS: 44% of Filipinos consider themselves poor

THE number of Filipinos who consider themselves poor remained steady during the first six months of the Duterte administration, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said on Monday.

The survey, conducted from December 3 to 6 last year, showed that the average self-rated poverty rate at the fourth quarter of 2016 still hit a "record low."

The SWS found that 44 percent or an estimated 10 million families considered themselves "poor," just two points above the 42 percent or an estimated 9.4 million registered in the third quarter of 2016.

The result, however, was down six points from 50 percent recorded in December 2015.

Self poverty rate rose to eight-percentage points in Balance Luzon, from 34 percent in September 2016 to 42 percent in December.

A decline was noticed in Metro Manila, with five-percentage points drop from September's 36 percent to 31 percent. In Mindanao, the rate was down by two-percentage points, from 49 to 47 percent.

The self-poverty rate was a flat 56 percent in Visayas.

The same survey also found 34 percent or an estimated 7.7 million families considered the type of food they eat as "poor," termed by the SWS as "food-poor."

The poll result was four-percentage points higher than September's 30 percent or an estimated 6.7 million families considering their type of food as "poor."

This was due to increases of eight, seven and three percentage points in Balance Luzon (32 percent from a record-low 24 percent in September), Visayas (43 percent from 36 percent), and Metro Manila (23 percent from 20 percent), respectively. A four-point drop was recorded in Mindanao, from 41 percent to 37 percent.

In a statement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the Filipino people apparently felt the "change" the Duterte administration wants to sustain.

The SWS interviewed 1,500 respondents nationwide, using sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages, ±4 for Balance Luzon, and ±6 each for Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. (Sunnex)

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