NEARLY half of Filipino families felt poor, according to a poll by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Of 1,500 adults polled on June 26 to 29, 48% rated themselves as “poor,” while 31% said they were “borderline poor,” SWS said in a report on Wednesday. It added that 21% said they were not poor.

The latest results changed significantly from its April poll, when 43% of Filipino families felt poor, 34 % rated themselves borderline poor and 23% said they were not poor.

“The estimated number of self-rated poor families were 12.2 million in June and 10.9 million in April,” it said.

SWS said poor families increased in all areas, especially in Metro Manila and the Visayas region. Self-rated poor families rose to 64% from 48% in the Visayas, and to 41% from 32% in Metro Manila.

Families who considered themselves borderline poor fell to 26% from 46% in Visayas, to 22% from 42% in Metro Manila, and to 31% from 33% in Mindanao.

In Luzon areas outside Metro Manila, families who considered themselves borderline poor rose to 36% from 28%.

Families who said they were not poor also increased to 37% from 26% in Metro Manila, and to 10% from 6% in Visayas. The rate fell in Luzon areas outside Metro Manila to 28% from 37%, while it remained at 7% in Mindanao.

The SWS poll showed that 34% of Filipino families considered themselves “food-poor,” while 40% rated themselves “borderline food-poor.” It added that 26% said they were not food-poor.

A party-list group said the government should take control of oil prices to solve the rising cost of living.

“We’ve been calling for this (price control on oil) since last year,” Anakpawis Party-list National President and former congressman Ariel B. Casilao said in a statement. “If no actions are taken the continued increase of oil products, its effects on the country will get worse.”

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, a group of agricultural workers, and Pamalakaya, an alliance of activist fisherfolk, said the cost of production for rice grains had risen by P8,000, while the cost for fishing rose by P3,800 a month.

The SWS poll had an error margin of ±2.5 points. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Matthew Carl L. Montecillo