A majority of Filipinos considered themselves as poor, the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed Tuesday.
The SWS survey, conducted from Sept. 15 to 23, found that 52 percent or an estimated 12.2-million Filipino regard themselves as poor.
The latest result was four points higher than the previous 42 percent (11.1-million families) recorded last March, and was the highest since a similar 52 percent was recorded four years ago.
“The 4-point nationwide increase in Self-Rated Poverty in the third quarter of 2018 was due to sharp increases in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, offset by a sharp decrease in Metro Manila and an unchanged proportion in the Visayas,” SWS said.
Self-rated poverty rose by 12 points in Balance Luzon from 35 percent to 47 percent, and five points in Mindanao from 60 percent to 65 percent.
It fell by 17 points in Metro Manila, from 43 percent to 26 percent, registering a new record-low in the area.
Self-rated poverty remained the same in the Visayas at 67 percent, no change from June.
The September survey also found that of the 52 percent-self-rated poor families, 8 percent are “newly-poor” and used to be non-poor one to four years ago, and 6 percent used to be non-poor five or more years ago.
The remaining 39 percent said they have always been poor, the SWS said.
The SWS said 36 percent of those polled or roughly 8.5-million Filipino families have rated their food as poor.
Malacañang pointed to the effects of Typhoon “Ompong” as the main factor behind self-rated poverty in Balance Luzon.
“The destruction to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Typhoon Ompong in the Cordillera, Ilocos and Cagayan regions contributed to higher inflation,” the Palace said in a statement.
The government then assured the public that measures are being implemented to cushion the impact of the 6.7 percent inflation, hoping such measures will “bring food on the table of poor families.”
The Palace cited the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to lift the restrictions on rice imports to flood the market with the abundant supply of rice, decreasing the staple food’s market value.
The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults. It had sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, ±4 percent for Balance Luzon, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.