About 43 percent of Filipino families have still considered themselves “mahirap” or poor in the first quarter of 2022 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted from April 19 to 27 with 1,440 respondents.
The results of the nationwide survey released on Wednesday, May 18, have also shown that 23 percent of Filipino households rated themselves “hindi mahirap” or “not poor.”
Meanwhile, 43 percent of families rated themselves as “borderline poor” by placing themselves on a horizontal line dividing the poor and not poor categories.
“These levels are similar to those in December 2021, when 43 percent felt poor, 39 percent felt borderline poor, and 19 percent felt not poor,” SWS said, estimating the numbers of self-rated poor families at 10.9 million in April 2022 and 10.7 million in December 2021.
Self-rated poverty rises in Mindanao, Metro Manila; falls in Visayas, Balance Luzon
SWS explained that the steady self-rated poor between December 2021 and April 2022 was due to increases in Mindanao and Metro Manila, combined with decreases in the Visayas and Balance Luzon—or Luzon outside Metro Manila.
“Compared to December 2021, self-rated poor rose in Mindanao from 43 percent to 60 percent and in Metro Manila from 25 percent to 32 percent. However, it fell in the Visayas from 59 percent to 48 percent, and in Balance Luzon from 41 percent to 35 percent,” it said.
Meanwhile, borderline poor rose in the Visayas from 33 percent to 46 percent.
However, it fell in Mindanao from 48 percent to 33 percent, in Balance Luzon from 34 percent to 28 percent, and in Metro Manila from 47 percent to 42 percent.
SWS also noted that those “not poor” rose in Balance Luzon from 25 percent to 37 percent, while it fell in the Visayas from 8 percent to 6 percent, in Mindanao from 9 percent to 7 percent, and in Metro Manila from 28 percent to 26 percent.
6.1 percent are ‘newly poor’
During the same survey period, SWS asked the self-rated poor families if they ever experienced being non-poor—either not poor or borderline—in the past.
The total percentage of poor families consisted of 6.1 percent who were non-poor one to four years ago, or “newly poor,” 4.5 percent who were non-poor five or more years ago, or “usually poor,” and 32.2 percent who never experienced being non-poor, or “always poor.”
Of the estimated 10.9 million self-rated poor families in April 2022, SWS said that 1.5 million were newly poor, 1.1 million were usually poor, and 8.2 million were always poor.
“Conversely, the survey asked those who were self-rated non-poor (either borderline poor or not poor) if they ever experienced being poor in the past. The total percentage of non-poor families consists of 18.4 percent who were poor one to four years ago (newly non-poor), 11.6 percent who were poor five or more years ago (usually non-poor), and 27.2 percent who never experienced being poor (always non-poor),” SWS said.
It noted that of the estimated 14.6 million self-rated non-poor families in April 2022, 4.7 million were newly non-poor, 3.0 million were usually non-poor, and 6.9 million were always non-poor.