SWS: Self-rated poverty dips to record low

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(File photo) Residents walk through a downtown market area as shoppers buy produce from a vegetable stall in Manila.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Just four in 10 Filipino families consider themselves poor, a Philippine poll body said Thursday.

The figure of four in 10 or 42 percent recorded by the Social Weather Station (SWS) in the period of July to September 2016, is the lowest recorded in the 33-year history of the self-rated poverty survey, said SWS.

Self-rated poverty peaked at 74 percent in July 1985 during waning months of Ferdinand Marcos' presidency.

The previous record low of 43 percent was registered on March 1987, a year after Corazon Aquino took office following the People Power revolution that ended the Marcos dictatorship.

The 42 percent recorded in the third quarter was a three-point dip from the previous quarter.

SWS conducted the survey from September 24 to 27 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, with 300 respondents each for Metro Manila, and the three main island groups of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Metro Manila residents who rated themselves poor said they would need at least ₱16,000 (USD 330) per month to "not be called poor anymore."

The figure was pegged at ₱15,000 for the rest of Luzon, and ₱10,000 for Visayas and Mindanao.

More than half (56 percent) of families in the Visayas rated themselves poor. The figure stood at 36 percent for Metro Manila, 34 percent for the rest of Luzon, and 49 percent for Mindanao.

In a similar poll, SWS asked families to rate their poverty level based on the food they eat, a measure referred to as "food poverty." About 30 percent of respondents said they were "food-poor." Perception of food poverty varied, with 20 percent of respondents in Metro Manila saying they were "food-poor,"  24 percent for the rest of Luzon, 36 percent for the Visayas, and 41 percent for Mindanao.

Families in Metro Manila said they needed at least ₱9,000 per month to stave off food poverty. Those in Luzon pegged their requirement at ₱8,000, while families in the Visayas and Mindanao required ₱5,000.