Filipinos living in poverty drops in first half of 2023 — PSA

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Filipinos living in poverty drops in first half of 2023 � PSA
This April 14, 2020 photo shows residents of Parola compound in Tondo.
The STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The number of poor Filipinos decreased to 22.4% in the first six months of 2023, down from the 23.7% recorded in the same period in 2021, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In a press conference on Friday, the PSA reported that there were 25.24 million poor Filipinos nationwide in the first semester of 2023, lower than the 26.14 million recorded in the first six months of 2021, but higher than the 22.26 million recorded in the same period in 2018.

"Ibig sabihin, 224 sa bawat isang libong Pilipino ay nasa may pamilyang hindi sapat ang kinikita upang matugunan ang kanilang basic food and non-food needs sa unang anim na buwan ng 2023," PSA Chief Statistician Dennis Mapa said.

(This means that 224 out of every one thousand Filipinos are in families with insufficient income to meet their basic food and non-food needs in the first six months of 2023.)

This means that during the first half of the year, 164 of 1,000 families or 16.4% are considered poor in the Philippines.

According to the PSA, a household with five members should have a minimum monthly income of P13,797 to cover essential food and non-food requirements in the first half of 2023. Families earning less than this amount are considered poor.

Meanwhile, the subsistence incidence plummeted to 8.7% from 9.9% in the first semester of 2021. This means that the number of Filipinos who do not earn enough for their daily necessities has decreased.

Food poor Filipinos also decreased by 9.79 million in the first six months of this year, lower than the 10.94 million Filipinos in the same period 2021. 

The National Capital Region has the lowest poverty incidence in the country with 5.1%. On the other hand, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao  (BARMM) recorded the highest poverty incidence with 44.8%.

Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, which are part of BARMM, are included among the provinces in the poorest cluster, according to the PSA.

The statistics agency collected the data from July 8 to July 31 which sampled 171,588 families. The report covers January to June 2023.

PSA only releases poverty data once every few years.

Lowering poverty incidence

In June, the National Anti-Poverty Commission said that the current administration wants to bring the poverty incidence down to 8.8%-9% in 2028.

On Wednesday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the P5.768 trillion budget for 2024, outlining the government's strategies to address poverty, enhance border security, and stimulate economic growth.

The Philippines anticipates a challenging 2024, as the El Nino weather phenomenon's impact may pose a threat to the country's efforts to combat inflation, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said could pose a threat to the country’s food supply.

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