MANILA - Half of the Filipino population, or 11.6 million families, consider themselves poor, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed Friday.
Of 1,440 Filipino adults polled last month, 50 percent said they consider themselves as poor. This is 2 points below last quarter's 52 percent, ending the 10-point rise throughout the year.
SWS attributed the decrease in self-rated poverty nationwide to a sharp 16-point decline in Mindanao (49 percent), and a 6-point decrease in the Visayas (61 percent).
However, self-rated poverty increased by 4 points both in Balance Luzon (51 percent) and Metro Manila (30 percent).
Meanwhile, the number of families who consider themselves “food-poor” fell to 34 percent (7.9 million families) from 36 percent in September.
It decreased by 8 points in Mindanao (38 percent) and 5 points in Visayas (44 percent), while it went up by 1 point in Metro Manila (22 percent), and remain unchanged in Balance Luzon (31 percent).
Respondents nationwide said they needed a monthly budget of P10,000 for them not to be considered poor.
Of the 50 percent self-rated poor families, 37 percent said they were "always poor," while the remaining 13 percent slipped into poverty.
Of the other half of the respondents who do not consider themselves poor, 27 percent said they have never experienced poverty. The remaining 15 percent said pulled themselves out of poverty.
The fourth quarter poll was conducted from December 16 to 19. It has a margin of error of ±2.6 percent for national figures.