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Self-rated poor, food-poor rise in SWS June survey

MANILA, Philippines — The number of Filipino families that considered themselves poor and food-poor rose in June after reaching lowest levels in the first quarter, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

The noncommissioned survey, conducted June 22 to 26, showed 45 percent or some 11.1 million households considering themselves poor, up from the record-low 38 percent recorded in March.

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The seven-point rise translates to a 1.6-million increase in households who see themselves as poor, as self-rated poverty climbed in most areas especially in Mindanao.

The survey also found 35 percent or an estimated 8.5 million families rating their food as poor, 8 points above the record low 27 percent or 6.8 million families recorded in March.

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Prior to the latest survey, self-rated poverty declined by 14 points over three quarters while self-rated food poverty dropped by 9 points between September 2018 and March 2019.

In Mindanao, self-rated poverty rose by 19 points from the record-low 37 percent in March to 56 percent in June.

Self-rated poverty also rose from 28 percent to 31 percent in Metro Manila and from 35 percent to 40 percent in Luzon outside Metro Manila, but was unchanged at 55 percent in the Visayas.

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The percentage of families who rated themselves poor in terms of food went up 20 points in Mindanao, from the record-low 27 percent in March to 47 percent in June.

Food poverty also rose from 24 percent to 30 percent in Luzon outside Metro Manila and from 19 percent to 22 percent in Metro Manila while it fell from 42 percent to 39 percent in the Visayas.

The median self-rated poverty threshold, which is the monthly budget that a poor household needs for home expenses in order not to consider itself poor in general, rose from P10,000 in March to P15,000 in June while the self-rated poverty gap, the amount poor families lack in monthly home expenses relative to their stated threshold, stayed at P5,000.

The median self-rated food poverty threshold, which is the monthly food budget that food-poor households need in order not to consider their food poor, rose from P5,000 in March to P6,000 in June, while the self-rated food poverty gap, the amount food-poor families lack in monthly expenses relative to their stated threshold is unchanged at P3,000.

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The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. —Inquirer Research

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