A survey done by pollster Social Weather Stations from March 26-29 found that 51 percent of Filipino families rated themselves as “Mahirap” or “Poor” while 30 percent rated themselves as Borderline (by placing themselves on a horizontal line dividing Poor and Not Poor).
Only 19 percent rated themselves as “Hindi Mahirap” or “Not Poor,” noted the survey result.
The result is similar to a December 2022 survey that shows “Poor” families were at 51 percent, Borderline families at 31 percent, and Not Poor families at 19 percent.
The estimated numbers of Self-Rated Poor families are 14 million in March 2023 and 12.9 million in December 2022.
SWS said that to arrive at the estimated numbers of Self-Rated Poor families, the percentage of respondent households rating themselves as poor was applied to the Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2023 and 2022, respectively.
SWS has measured Self-Rated Poverty (SRP) quarterly through face-to-face (F2F) surveys since 1992, except in the first three quarters of 2020 when F2F was not possible for lack of public transportation during the pandemic. SWS resumed the SRP surveys in the 4th quarter of 2020, up to the present.
The steady nationwide Self-Rated Poor figure between December 2022 and March 2023 was due to increases in Metro Manila and the Visayas, combined with a decline in Balance Luzon (or Luzon outside Metro Manila) and a steady score in Mindanao.
Compared to December 2022, Self-Rated Poor rose in Metro Manila from 32 percent to 40 percent and in the Visayas from 58 percent to 65 percent. However, it fell in Balance Luzon from 49 percent to 43 percent while it was statistically steady in Mindanao, moving from 59 percent to 62 percent.
6.5% of families are ‘newly poor’
The March 2023 survey asked the Self-Rated Poor if they had ever experienced being non-poor (either not poor or borderline) in the past. The total percentage of poor families consists of 6.5 percent who were non-poor 1-4 years ago (“Newly Poor”), 6.7 percent who were non-poor five or more years ago (“Usually Poor”), and 37.9 percent who never experienced being non-poor (“Always Poor”).
Of the estimated 14 million Self-Rated Poor families in March 2023, 1.8 million were Newly Poor, 1.8 million were Usually Poor, and 10.4 million were Always Poor.
The First Quarter 2023 Social Weather Survey was conducted from March 26-29 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide. The sampling error margins are ±2.8 percent for national percentages, ±5.7 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.