MANILA, Philippines --- The number of Filipino families who consider themselves poor increased anew in the last quarter of 2012, based on the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
In the December 8-11, 2012, survey period, SWS found that 54 percent or about 10.9 million Filipino households rated themselves as poor, a rise from 47 percent or 9.5 million families in the third quarter of 2012.
The nationwide survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents.
The poverty question was: "Where would you place your family in this card?" A card with words "not poor," "on the line," and "poor" were shown to the respondents.
SWS said the latest poverty figure is still below the record 74 percent in July, 1985.
Self-rated poverty increased nationwide except in the Visayas. It is highest in Mindanao with 72 percent (from 57 percent), followed by the Visayas (62 percent from 63 percent), rest of Luzon (43 percent to 38 percent), and Metro Manila (42 percent from 35 percent).
For self-rated food poverty, the respondents were asked: "Based on the type of food eaten by your family, where would you place your family on this card? Not poor, on the line, or poor."
Self-rated food poverty had worsened with 44 percent or 8.9 million families who said they are "food-poor" from 35 percent or 7.2 million households in the previous survey.
SWS noted that the latest survey result differs from the improved SWS hunger rate released last week. It showed that the number of Filipino families who experienced hunger was at 16.3 percent of 3.3 million households, the lowest since June, 2011.
It attributed the contrasting result on natural calamities that could have reinforced the respondents' perceptions of poverty.
Self-rated food poverty worsened in all areas, from 45 percent to 63 percent in Mindanao, followed by the Visayas (from 47 percent to 54 percent), rest of Luzon (from 29 percent to 34 percent), and in Metro Manila (from 24 percent to 28 percent).
Considering the present self-rated poverty threshold or the monthly budget that households need in order not to consider themselves poor, SWS pointed out that Filipino families continue to tighten their belts due to lower living standards.
The median poverty threshold rose to P10,000 in Mindanao and rest of Luzon, and declined to P12,000 in Metro Manila and P8,000 in the Visayas.
Meanwhile, the self-rated food poverty threshold rose to P5,000 in Mindanao and rest of Luzon, and declined to P6,000 in Metro Manila and P4,000 in the Visayas.
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