Palace concerned over higher self-rated poverty
Malacanang admitted on Sunday that the government is concerned that more Filipinos consider themselves poor despite the growing economy.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque attributed the 3 percent increase to 47 percent of Filipinos who considered themselves poor during the third quarter Social Weather Stations survey on higher inflation and peso depreciation.
"While we are concerned with the increase in self-rated poverty, we are encouraged by the decrease of families rating their food as poor which stands at 32% in September 2017, lower than the previous administration’s average of 35% in 2015," he said.
"It is for this reason that while the Administration is building a strong and sustainable domestic economy, growth must be inclusive and must be translated to a more comfortable life for all," Roque said.
He said the Duterte administration must ensure that the economy serves everyone and leaves no one behind by improving the social services, such as providing free college education, free medicine, free irrigation, socialized housing, conditional cash transfers, among others.
In the September 23-27 survey, SWS said 47 percent of Filipino families considered themselves as poor from 44 percent last June 2017.
"The proportion of self-rated poor families had a sharp increase from 44% in December 2016 to 50% in March 2017. Before this, it had been either steady or declining for nine consecutive quarters, from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2016," it said.
SWS also found 32 percent of families rating their food as poor or food-poor, similar to the 32 percent in June 2017 but below the 35 percent of March 2017.
Prior to this, self-rated food-poverty averaged 31 percent in 2016 and 35 percent in 2015. Ella Dionisio/DMS