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The proportion of ‘mahirap’ fell 2% in the 4th quarter of 2018 — SWS

Updated

By Alexandria Dennise San Juan

Filipinos who considered themselves as poor or “mahirap” fell to 50% or at least 11.6 million families in the last quarter of 2018, the recent Social Weather Stations survey showed.

Residents living in shanties still stay at Estero de Magdalena in Manila on Wednesday. The city of Manila will start relocating more than 40 families in the cluttered waterway. (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

(Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

In the fourth quarter 2018 survey done on December 16-19, it was found that half of the Filipino population rated themselves as poor, two points below the 52% or 12.2 million families in September 2018.

The latest survey result came after a 10-point increase in self-rated poverty over two consecutive quarters in 2018.

The proportion of “Self-rated Poor” families was at 42% in March 2018. It increased by 6 points to 48% in June, and by 4 points to 52% in September.

However, the resulting average Self-Rated Poverty rate this year rose by two points from the average 46% in 2017 to 48% in 2018. It was also four points above the record-low average of 44% in 2016.

“This is the second consecutive increase in the annual Self-Rated Poverty rate since 2016,” the SWS noted.

SWS has attributed the 2-point nationwide decline in Self-Rated Poverty (SRP) to a sharp decrease in Mindanao and a slight decrease in the Visayas, offset by increases in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon.

SRP significantly decreased by 16 points in Mindanao, from 65% in September 2018 to 49% in December 2018.

It also fell by 6 points in the Visayas, from 67% in September to 61% in December.

However, the SRP increased by 4 points in Balance Luzon and in Metro Manila, from 47% in September to 51% in December, and from 26% in September to 30% in December, respectively.

Self-Rated Food Poor decreases

Meanwhile, the same survey also found that 34% or at least 7.9 million of families rated their food as poor or “mahirap,” termed by SWS as “Food-Poor.”

Self-Rated Food Poor also subsides by two points from the 36% or 8.5 million in September 2018 after a 7-point rise over two consecutive quarters.

The proportion of Self-Rated Food Poor families increased by 5 points to 34% in June from 29% in March 2018. It also rose by 2 points to 36% in September before it fell by 2 points in December.

This gives an annual average Self-Rated Food Poverty of 33% for year 2018, similar to the average 33% in 2017, and two points above the record-low 31% in 2016.

SWS pointed out that the 2-point nationwide decrease in Self-Rated Food Poverty (SRFP) was due to decreases in Mindanao and the Visayas, combined with a slight increase in Metro Manila and unchanged value in Balance Luzon.

SRFP decreased by 8 points in Mindanao, from 46% in September 2018 to 38% in December 2018, and by 5 points in the Visayas, from 49% to 44%.

However, SRFP increased by 1 point in Metro Manila, from 21% in September to 22% in December, and was steady at 31% in Balance Luzon.

7% newly poor families

The December 2018 survey also found that of the 50% Self-Rated Poor families, 7% used to be non-poor one to four years ago or considered as “newly poor,” while 6% used to be non-poor five or more years ago or “usually poor.”

The remaining 37% or about three out of four poor families said they have never experienced being non-poor or considered as “always poor.”

The survey showed that of the 50% Self-Rated Non-Poor families, only 1% used to be poor one to four years ago or those “newly non-poor,” and 14% said they used to be poor five or more years ago or “usually nonpoor.”

The remaining 27% have never experienced poverty. They responded as “always non-poor.”

The recent Social Weather Survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults nationwide: 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.

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