Poverty survey to be presented annually

Posted on March 26, 2013

MEASURING poverty incidence in the country will be done annually starting this year, a Cabinet official said yesterday.

“Starting 2013, we’ll have regular annual [poverty incidence] survey,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said at the sidelines of a forum in Pasig City.

“Our plan is to have an annual data because the last number was 2009,” he said.

At present, the National Statistics Office (NSO) conducts poverty incidence surveys every three years.

“By 2014, 2013 poverty incidence data will be released, by 2015, 2014 data will be available. It will not longer be once every three years, it will be done every year,” Mr. Balisacan pointed out.

He said for this year, poverty incidence in the first semester or the January to June period will be measured in July, and in two to three months, the result will be released. “We are also trying to find a way to release semestral data but there are conceptual issues we are still working on,” Mr. Balisacan said.

The government measured the poverty incidence last year and is looking at releasing its results “within the year.”

“We’re hoping to release full year of 2012 soon,” Mr. Balisacan said.

NSO data showed that fisher folk recorded the highest poverty incidence in 2009, where 41.4% of fisher folk were poor, the same as in 2006.

NSO said that official poverty data indicate that a Filipino needed P974 in 2009 to meet his monthly food needs, and P1,403 to stay out of poverty.

Both food and poverty thresholds increased by 26% from 2006 to 2009, compared to only 22% between 2003 and 2006. Consequently, a Filipino family of five needed P4,869 monthly income to meet the basic food needs and P7,017 to stay out of poverty.

Subsistence incidence or proportion of food poor families improved from 8.7% in 2006 to 7.9% in 2009. This means that one family per 100 was lifted out of food poverty between 2006 and 2009. -- KMPT