MORE FILIPINOS were driven into poverty in the first half of this year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday.
Results of the First Semester 2021 Official Poverty Statistics by the PSA placed poverty incidence among individuals — the proportion of Filipinos whose incomes fell below the per capita poverty threshold — at 23.7%, compared to the revised 21.1% recorded in the first half of 2018.
The latest poverty data translates to an increase of 3.87 million poor individuals to 26.14 million poor in the first half of 2021, the PSA said in a press conference.
The subsidence incidence among Filipinos — or the proportion of those whose incomes fell below the monthly food threshold — stood at 9.9% in the first semester of 2021 from 8.5% in the same six months in 2018.
Likewise, poverty incidence among Filipino families — or the proportion of those whose incomes fell below the poverty threshold — went up to 18% from 16.2%.
The subsistence incidence among families — or the proportion of those in extreme poverty — worsened to 7.1% from 6.2%.
Food threshold is the minimum income required to meet basic food needs and satisfy the nutritional requirements set by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute to ensure that one remains “economically and socially productive.”
Similarly, the poverty threshold is the minimum income needed to meet basic food and non-food needs such as clothing, housing, transportation, health, and education expenses.
The per capita poverty threshold in the first half of 2021 was P14,498 per month as compared to the P12,638 in the same period of 2018.
Meanwhile, the monthly poverty threshold for a family of five members was P12,082 versus the P10,532 in 2018’s first half.
The per capita food threshold was P10,071 per month in the first half 2021 as compared to P8,849 in the first half of 2018. For a family of five, the monthly food threshold in the first half of 2021 was P8,393 versus P7,374 in 2018’s first half.
The results also noted that incomes of poor families, on the average, fell 27% short of the poverty threshold in this year’s first half. This means that, on the average, an additional monthly income of P3,262 was needed by a poor family with five members to move out of poverty.
The data were derived from the Family Income and Expenditure Surveys (FIES) which the PSA conducts every three years. The 2021 FIES was conducted in July 2021 with a sample size of 174,007 families, in which the PSA noted “can provide reliable estimates at the national level and disaggregation by regional, provincial and highly urbanized cities.” — Ana Olivia A. Tirona