CENTRAL Visayas is one of the country’s regions where at least one in every five families did not have sanitary toilets in 2008.

This year, a nationwide survey that will find out if the situation has improved is in full swing.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

The National Statistics Office (NSO) launched its 7th Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS), designed to gather information on poverty among Filipino families, last July 8.

The survey, for which the government shelled out P24 million, will examine how different indicators, apart from income, are

related to poverty.

The NSO last conducted the survey in 2008. Its results, released last April, revealed two in three heads of poor families have, at most, an elementary education.

Only five percent of the heads of poor families had reached college or higher level of education.

Another finding show-ed that two in every five poor Filipino families did not have electricity and one in four poor families did not have sanitary toilets.

The regions where over 20 percent of families did not have sanitary toilets are Central Visayas (21 percent) and

Autonomous Region for Muslim Minda-nao (ARMM, 52 percent).

Among the regions, Central Luzon had the highest percentage of families with access to safe water, while ARMM had the least.

This year’s APIS will distribute survey questionnaires to 26,000 households across the country.

It will collect the following data: demographic characteristics of the household; health status; schooling status; economic characteristics; housing; water and sanitation; hunger; family sustenance and entrepreneurial activities; other source of income; and family expenditures.

The NSO will release the final results of the survey by January 2012.

The United Nations Development Program ranked the Philippines 105th in its Human Development Report in 2009.

Among the targets of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals is to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is $1 a day. (RSB)