Slightly fewer Filipino families have considered themselves poor in the past three months, based on the results of the third quarter Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Saturday, Nov. 27.
The non-commissioned survey conducted from Sept. 12 to 16 with 1,200 respondents found 45 percent of Filipino families rating themselves as “mahirap” or “poor,” 34 percent rating themselves as “borderline poor” (between poor and not poor), and 21 percent rating themselves as “hindi mahirap” or “not poor.”
“This compares to June 2021 when 48 percent felt poor, 29 percent felt borderline poor, and 23 percent felt not poor,” SWS said in a statement.
SWS estimated that 11.4 million Filipino families felt they were poor in September 2021, as compared to the 12.0 million households who considered themselves poor in June 2021.
Self-rated poor falls in Visayas, Metro Manila; borderline poor rises in all areas except Mindanao
“The three-point decrease in self-rated poor in the third quarter of 2021 was due to a sharp decline in the Visayas and a slight decrease in Metro Manila, offset by a steady score in Balance Luzon and an increase in Mindanao,” SWS pointed out.
Compared to June 2021, self-rated poor fell in the Visayas, from 70 percent to 54 percent, as well as in Metro Manila, from 43 percent to 34 percent.
It stayed at 38 percent in Balance Luzon, from June 2021 to September 2021, while it rose in Mindanao, from 51 percent to 58 percent.
Meanwhile, borderline poor rose in the Visayas, from 24 percent in June 2021 to 42 percent in September 2021; in Metro Manila, from 19 percent to 30 percent; and in Balance Luzon, from 28 percent to 32 percent.
However, it fell in Mindanao from 42 percent to 34 percent.
Compared to June 2021, those who said they were not poor hardly changed in all areas: it went from 7 percent to 4 percent in the Visayas, from 38 percent to 37 percent in Metro Manila, from 34 percent to 30 percent in Balance Luzon, and from 7 percent to 8 percent in Mindanao.
6.9% of families ‘newly poor’
The September 2021 SWS survey asked the self-rated poor if they ever experienced being non-poor (either not poor or borderline) in the past.
“The total percentage of poor families consists of 6.9 percent who were non-poor one to four years ago (‘newly poor’), 4.9 percent who were non-poor five or more years ago (‘usually poor’), and 32.4 percent who never experienced being non-poor (‘always poor’).
Of the estimated 11.4 million poor families in September 2021, the survey found 1.7 million were newly poor, 1.2 million were usually poor, and 8.2 million were always poor.
“Conversely, the survey asked those who were self-rated non-poor (either not poor or borderline) if they ever experienced being poor in the past. The total percentage of non-poor families consists of 14 percent who were poor 1-4 years ago (‘newly non-poor’), 11.9 percent who were poor five or more years ago (‘usually non-poor’), and 28.9 percent who never experienced being poor (‘always non-poor’),” SWS said.
Of the estimated 13.8 million non-poor families in September 2021, 3.5 million were newly non-poor, 3.0 million were usually non-poor, and 7.3 million were always non-poor.
During the same survey period, SWS found 30 percent of families rating themselves as “food-poor,” 44 percent rating themselves as “borderline food-poor” (between food-poor and not food-poor), and 26 percent rating themselves “not food-poor.”
“This compares to June 2021 when 32 percent felt food-poor, 38 percent felt borderline food-poor, and 29 percent felt not food-poor,” SWS said.
“The estimated numbers of self-rated food poor families are 7.5 million in September 2021 and 8.2 million in June 2021,” it pointed out.
Food-poor falls, borderline food-poor rises in all areas except Mindanao
“The two-point decrease in self-rated food-poor in the third quarter of 2021 was due to declines in all areas except in Mindanao,” SWS said.
Compared to June 2021, self-rated food-poor fell in the Visayas, from 40 percent to 30 percent; in Metro Manila, from 30 percent to 24 percent; and in Balance Luzon, from 29 percent to 26 percent.
Meanwhile, it rose slightly in Mindanao, from 34 percent to 40 percent.
On the other hand, borderline food-poor rose in the Visayas, from 43 percent in June 2021 to 60 percent in September 2021; in Metro Manila, from 26 percent to 32 percent; and in Balance Luzon, from 32 percent to 39 percent.
However, it fell in Mindanao, from 55 percent to 48 percent.
“Compared to June 2021, not food-poor did not change in Metro Manila and Mindanao, while it fell slightly in the Visayas and Balance Luzon,” SWS also said.