Social Weather Stations (SWS) – Self-rated poverty down

Manila, Philippines – The latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) Fewer Filipino families consider themselves “mahirap” (poor) and “food-poor” in the past three months.

The SWS poll, taken from May 24 to 27, presented that 51 percent of the respondents or about 10.3 million households rated themselves poor, down by four points from 55 percent or around 11.1 million families in March.

Meanwhile, the same survey found that 39 of Filipinos (about 7.9 million families) said they are food-poor, lower by six points from 45 percent (9.1 million) formerly.

Self-rated poverty and food poverty slightly improved in all areas but it also noted that families had continued to tighten their belts said by the SWS.

In the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday the SWS poll result were issued.

Self-rated poverty was down by seven points to 65 percent in Mindanao. In Metro Manila it also dropped by five points to 41 percent, In Visayas  dropped by four points to 57 percent and by two points to 43 percent in balance Luzon.

A five-point drop in self-rated poverty to 61 percent in rural areas, while urban areas experienced a two-point drop to 42 percent recorded also by the survey research institution.

Self-rated food poverty dropped by 11 points to 53 percent in Mindanao said by SWS.

In balance Luzon and Metro Manila smaller developments were recorded, six points to 32 percent and five points to 25 percent, respectively. The score was hardly changed at 46 percent from 47 percent in the Visayas.

Self-rated poverty thresholds – the monthly budgets poor households need for home expenses in order not to consider themselves poor in general – remained sluggish despite higher inflation said SWS.

The median poverty threshold for poor households rose to P15, 000 in Metro Manila and P10,000 in the Visayas and Mindanao but dropped to P9,000 in balance Luzon compared to the previous quarter.

Median food-poverty thresholds, meanwhile, Metro Manila increased to P7, 000 and P5, 000 in Mindanao and the Visayas, but dropped to P4, 500 in balance Luzon.

SWS said the self-rated poverty and self-rated food poverty thresholds as of May 2012 have already been surpassed in the past for all areas.

Face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide and has sampling error margins of plus or minus three percentage points for national and plus or minus six percentage points for area percentages  used by the SWS survey .

SWS: Poor Families Rise To 11.1M

A recent survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) discovered an estimated 11.1 million Filipino households consider themselves poor last March, while up from 9.1 million households in December.

The results of the survey was first published in BusinessWorld and found out that 55 percent of the respondents rated their households poor, 10 percent higher than the 45 percent three months earlier.

A rise of 9 points from the 36 percent or 7.2 million families are recorded in the previous quarter saying that they were poor in terms of food, an amount that translates to approximately 9.1 million families which accounted for the 45 percent.

It was with the Aquino administration that the figures went up this high.

SWS used face-to-face interviews as a mean to use for the noncommissioned survey, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for national percentages and plus or minus 6 percentage points for area percentages.

The record for self-rated food poverty was posted at 59 percent under the Ramos administration in April 1994 and in September 2002 under the Arroyo administration, while the record for self-rated poverty was posted in July 1985 at 74 percent under the Marcos regime.

Malacañang reacted last Thursday to the survey results saying that it was “natural” to see variations in the levels of self-rated poverty because the government’s antipoverty programs were taking time to be significantly felt.

Programs take time

President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesperson, Secretary Edwin Lacierda, acknowledged that discernments of poverty were among the indicators that the administration was looking at.

“As we have said in the beginning, antipoverty programs take some time before the effects are felt on a sustained basis,” Lacierda said in a news briefing.

“In the meantime, it is natural to see fluctuations in self-rated poverty,” he added.

Lacierda, nevertheless has provided subjective evidences of the government’s conditional cash transfer program benefiting target beneficiaries.

“We have heard for instance, when we were in Roxas City… one mother showed how her child was able to buy a new school bag, new shoes. She was also able to buy vitamins for her child,” Lacierda said.

For the survey, SWS showed a card to 1,200 adults nationwide and asked them, “Where would you place your family on this card?” The choices included “not poor,” “on the line” and “poor.”

Self-rated poverty scaled sharply in Mindanao having 72 percent in March from 38 percent in December. Also, it mounted in the Visayas island from 52 percent previously to 61 percent.

But on the other hand the percentages for Metro Manila from 47 percent to 46 percent while the rest of Luzon managed to maintain its 45 percent, remained basically unaffected.

Self-rated poverty also levitated among those living in the rural areas having 49 percent last December and 66 percent in March, but rarely changed among those in the urban areas amounting to 41 percent to 40 percent respectively.

Food poverty

For self-rated food poverty, SWS asked respondents “Based on the type of food eaten by your family, where would you place your family on this card?” Respondents were made to choose from “not poor,” “on the line” and “poor.”

Self-rated food poverty poured in Mindanao with respect to 30 percent last December while 64 percent in March. It also escalated in the Visayas from 43 percent to 47 percent but hardly changed in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon with just a difference of 1 percent last December.

SWS also determined the self-rated poverty threshold of respondents who considered their households poor or food-poor by asking how much they  needed monthly so as not to consider themselves poor.

The median poverty threshold rose in Metro Manila to P12,000 from P10,000, in Luzon outside Metro Manila to P10,000 from P6,000, in the Visayas to P8,000 from P6,000 and in Mindanao to P7,000 from P6,000.

The median food-poverty threshold in Metro Manila rose to P6,500 from P5,000. In Luzon outside Metro Manila, it rose to P5,000 from P4,000.

It went up to P4,500 from P3,750 in the Visayas and to P4,000 from P3,500 in Mindanao.

Noynoy, Villar slug it out on the Internet, too

MANILA, Philippines – The heated exchanges between frontrunners Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manuel “Manny” Villar over the debate and presidential surveys is spilling over on to the Internet especially on popular social networking site Facebook which counts 9 to 12 million Filipino users, more than 7 million of whom are of voting age.

As of midnight Wednesday, Aquino’s official Facebook page lists more than 304,000 supporters; Villar’s has 267,000. He’s fast catching up on his rival just like in the recent result of a Social Weather Station survey.

This has led to accusations from Aquino’s camp that Villar’s fans are mostly from fake accounts.

On Villar’s page, however, a reply was posted saying the charges are desperate.

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Noynoy tops another survey, nearly 50% will vote for him

Sen. Noynoy Aquino

(UPDATE 3 – 9:52 pm) Once again, Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III has topped a nationwide survey, with almost half of the respondents saying they will vote form him as president.

Results of the December 5 to 10 survey conducted by pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that 46 percent of 2,100 respondents had chosen Aquino. The same survey also showed Aquino’s running-mate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, leading the pack of vice presidential bets in 2010.

The SWS presented the respondents with a list of 11 presidential aspirants and were asked: “Sa mga sumusunod na pangalan sa listahang ito, sino po ang malamang ninyong iboboto bilang presidente ng Pilipinas, kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon?”

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Ranks of mahirap increasing

Palace blames downturn, says number could rise due to storms

THE NUMBER OF FILIPINO FAMILIES which consider themselves as “mahirap” or poor has continued to increase this year, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

Self-rated poverty — respondents are asked to class themselves as poor, not poor or on the borderline — was at 53% in September, up from June’s 50% and equivalent to some 9.7 million families.

A Palace official blamed the economic slowdown, and raised the prospect of the rate further increasing as two strong storms devastated parts of the country after the poll was staged.

But the result of the latest survey, made exclusive to BusinessWorld, was still lower than last year’s peak (59%, June) and the Arroyo administration’s record of 66% (hit three times, the last being September 2002).

The historical high is 74%, posted in July 1985 during the Marcos dictatorship.

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Pinoy optimism rising

A fourth-quarter survey, conducted from November 28 to December 1 and made exclusive to BusinessWorld, found 30% saying they expect things to improve in the next 12 months, up from 26% three months earlier.

With 15% saying otherwise from 17% previously, the SWS said net personal optimism, or the percentage of optimists minus pessimists, rose to a “fair” +16 for the period after ranging in the “mediocre” -6 to -9 for the first three quarters.

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