(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The number of Filipino families who rated themselves 'mahirap or poor fell in the last quarter of 2018, according to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The poll, conducted from December 16 to 19, showed 50% of 1,440 adults respondents, or an estimated 11.6mn families, rating themselves poor.
This is two points below last quarter's 52%, ending the
10-point rise throughout the year.
'The proportion of self-rated poor families was at 42% in March 2018. It rose by six points to 48% in June, and by four points to 52% in September. It subsided by two points to 50% in December, the polling firm said.
'Nevertheless, the resulting average self-rated poverty rate of 48% for 2018 is two points above the average 46% in 2017, and four points above record-low average of 44% in 2016. This is the second consecutive increase in the annual self-rated poverty rate since 2016, it added.
The SWS attributed the decrease in self-rated poverty nationwide to a sharp 16-point decline in Mindanao
(49%) and a six-point decrease in the Visayas (61%).
Self-rated poverty, however, increased by four points both in Balance Luzon (51%) and Metro Manila (30%).
Meanwhile, the number of families who consider themselves 'food-poor also fell to 34% (7.9mn families) from 36% in September.
It decreased by eight points in Mindanao (38%) and five points in Visayas (44%), while it went up by one point in Metro Manila (22%) and remained unchanged in Balance Luzon (31%).
According to the SWS, self-rated food poverty measures the proportion of respondents rating the food their family eats as poor.
Of the 50% self-rated poor families, 37% said they were 'always poor, while the remaining 13% slipped into poverty. Of the other half of the respondents who did not consider themselves poor, 27% said they had never experienced poverty.
The remaining 15% said they pulled themselves out of poverty. The SWS said the median self-rated poverty threshold — the monthly budget that a poor household needs for home expenses in order not to consider itself poor in general — was P10,000.
The median self-rated poverty gap — the amount poor families lack in monthly home expenses relative to their stated threshold — was unchanged at P5,000, or half of the self-rated poverty threshold, it added.
The fourth quarter poll, conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide, had sampling error margins of + or - 2.6% for national percentages, and + or 5% each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.