The Social Weather Stations (SWS), a survey organization in the Philippines conducted a recent survey showing that 51% of Filipino families considered themselves poor. The survey, which was conducted last March 26-29 showed that 30% rated themselves as borderline,” meaning they placed themselves on a line between poor and not poor. 19% of respondents considered themselves not poor.

A similar survey was held last December 2022 showing similar results. Comparing the December 2022 and March 2023 data, the SWS noted that the number of self-rated poor in March was 14 million while those in December was 12.9 million. The latest figure was due to the increases in the National Capital Region, which rose from 32% to 40% and in the Visayas, which jumped from 58% to 65%. This was combined with a decline in Balance Luzon, which fell from 49% to 43% as well as a steady statistic trend in Mindanao which increased from 59% to 62%.

The SWS also reported that in the last five quarters, the national median Self-Rated Poverty Threshold (SRP Threshold) stayed at ₱15,000, while the national median Self-Rated Poverty Gap (SRP Gap) rose from ₱5,000 in December 2022 to ₱6,000 in March 2023.

The minimum monthly budget of self-rated poor families shows that their need for the expenses in the home has remained sluggish for several years despite considerable inflation. This indicates that poor families have been lowering their living standards, the SWS explained.

Another result of the survey showed that around 2.7 million Filipino families experienced hunger during the first quarter of 2023. The survey revealed that 9.8% of Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger at least once during the first three months of 2023.

The hunger rate for the first quarter of the year was slightly lower than the 11.8% hunger rate in December 2022 and 11.3% hunger rate in October 2022.