Children hold plates on top of their heads against rainfall as they queue for free meals during Christmas celebrations at the town of Bislig, Tanauan in Leyte province, central Philippines December 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines. The Philippines has warned that predators might prey on Yolanda victims. (MNS photo)

Children hold plates on top of their heads against rainfall as they queue for free meals during Christmas celebrations at the town of Bislig, Tanauan in Leyte province, central Philippines December 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines. The Philippines has warned that predators might prey on Yolanda victims. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – A third quarter 2014 survey taken by pollster Social Weather Stations estimated that around 12.1 million families considered themselves poor.

The SWS poll found that  55 percent of respondents considered themselves poor—three points higher than the 52 percent average in the four quarters of 2013.

There was also a rise in self-rated poverty in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Additionally, the SWS survey estimated that 9.3 million families considered themselves food-poor. This was two points higher than the 41 percent in the second quarter and four points higher than the 39 percent four-quarter average in 2013.

However, self-rated poor and food-poor numbers were lower in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon than in other areas.

The SWS poll was taken from September 26 to 29, with 1,200 respondents, and had sampling error margins of ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages.

Geographically

Self-rated poverty was six points higher in Metro Manila, at 43 percent, from 37 percent in June, and seven points higher in Balance Luzon at 52 percent from 45 percent.

This, however, was down 10 points in Mindanao to 61 percent from 71 percent; and nine points in the Visayas to 65 percent from 74 percent.

Self-rated food poverty was three points higher in Metro Manila at 30 percent, from 27 percent in June. It was higher five points in Balance Luzon to 37 percent from 32 percent.

Meanwhile, self-rated food poverty was “hardly changed” in the Visayas at 53 percent in September from 54 percent in June. It went down three points in Mindanao to 52 percent from 55 percent.

Self-rated poverty threshold

The self-rated poverty threshold, or the monthly budget poor households need for home expenses so they would not consider themselves poor in general, increased to a median of P15,000 from P12,000 in Metro Manila.

It remained at P10,000 in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, and fell to P8,000 from P10,000 in the Visayas.

“The September 2014 median self-rated poverty thresholds in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao are at the highest levels ever reached in those areas, while the latest figure in the Visayas was previously surpassed in June 2014, when it was at P10,000,” the SWS explained.

This minimum home budget is less than the minimum income needed as it excludes work-related expenses like transportation.

Thus, the median poverty threshold “is the home expense budget that would satisfy the poorer half of the poor households.”

Self-rated food poverty threshold

The self-rated food poverty threshold, or the monthly food budget that food-poor households need so as not to consider themselves food-poor, rose to a median of P8,000 from P6,000 in Metro Manila.

It went up to P5,250 from P5,000 in Balance Luzon; and to P5,000 from P4,500 in Mindanao.

But it dropped to a median of P3,550 in the Visayas from P5,000 in June.

The SWS pointed out that the third-quarter median self-rated food-poverty thresholds in Mindanao and Balance Luzon were the highest levels ever reached in those areas.

The current level in Metro Manila was lower than the September 2013 level of P8,250.

In the Visayas, the highest level recorded so far was last June at P5,000. (MNS)