THE number of families in Mindanao who considered themselves poor has declined to 37 percent in the first quarter of 2019, the lowest in almost a decade, according to the first quarter 2019 survey of the Social Weather Survey (SWS) on Self-Rated Poverty (SRP) released on June 18.
The polling firm said the first quarter self-rated poverty of Mindanao improved by 12 percentage points from 49 percent recorded in the last quarter of 2018, going below the island’s previous lowest record of 38 percent in December 2011.
Administered on 1,440 adults aged 18 years old and above from March 18 to 31 nationwide, the country’s self-rated poverty found a new record-low of 38 percent, or an estimated 9.5 million families, a decrease of 12 percentage points from 50 percent in the last quarter of 2018, and 4 points lower than the previous record-low of 42 percent in September 2016 and March 2018.
The SWS said the self-rated poverty (SRP) score is a “continuing recovery from the 10-point rise within the first three quarters of 2018” where the proportion of families who considered themselves poor saw a continuous rise from 42 percent in March 2018, 48 percent in June 2018, and 52% in September 2018. The SRP score eased up a bit to 50 percent in the last quarter of 2018.
Other than Mindanao, the SRP of Balance Luzon went down by 16 points, from 51 percent in December to 35 percent in March 2019; 6 points in the Visayas, from 61 percent in December to 55 percent in March; and 2 points in Metro Manila, from 30 percent in December to 28 percent in March.
Results of the survey had also shown an improvement in terms of the Self-Rated Food Poor families, which noted a new record-low of 27 percent, or an estimate of 6.8 million families, from 34 percent in December 2018.
“The new record-low proportion of Self-Rated Food Poor families comes after the recovery from the 7-point increase in Self-Rated Food Poverty in the first three quarters of 2018,” it said. The proportion of Self-Rated Food Poor families stood at 29 percent in March 2018, went up to 34 percent in June, and peaked at 35 percent in September, before easing up to 34 percent in December.
Of the 62 percent Self-Rated Non-Poor families, the SWS said 15 percent used to be poor one to four years ago (newly non-poor); 20 percent used to be poor five or more years ago (usually non-poor); and 26 percent have never experienced poverty.
Among the 38 percent Self-Rated Poor Families, the SWS said six percent were non-poor one to four years ago (newly poor); six percent non-poor five or more years ago (usually poor); and 26 percent have not experienced being non-poor (always poor).
The median self-rated poverty threshold, or the “monthly budget that a poor household needs for home expenses in order not to consider itself poor,” was P10,000.
The SWS said the median Self-Rated Poverty Gap or the “amount poor families lack in monthly home expenses relative to their stated threshold” remained the same at P5,000.
The food poverty fell to record-lows in Mindanao and Balance Luzon, according to SWS. Mindanao’s food poverty decreased by 11 points, from 38 percent in December 2018 to a new record-low 27 percent in March 2019, while Balance Luzon’s fell by seven points, from 31 percent in December to 24 percent in March.
Metro Manila’s food poverty decreased by three points, from 22 percent in December to 19 percent in March, and Visayas’s by 2 points, from 44 percent in December to 42 percent in March. (Antonio L. Colina IV of Mindanews)