Statement: Presidential Spokesperson Lacierda on SWS survey on self-rated poverty and food poverty

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Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda
On the 1st quarter 2016 SWS survey on self-rated poverty and food poverty

[Released on May 27, 2016]

We welcome the most recent survey results released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), which put both self-rated poverty and food poverty rates at multi-year lows. From 50% last quarter, the number of families rating themselves as poor has dropped to 46%—translating to an estimated 700,000 families no longer living in poverty. This percentage is the lowest recorded in over four years, since December 2011. It reflects declining quarterly rates noted in all regions except Mindanao, with self-rated poverty falling by 14 points in Visayas and by 7 points in Metro Manila. At 53%, even the poverty rate for Mindanao has fallen considerably compared to the 63% full-year average for 2015.

In terms of self-rated food poverty, the survey likewise reflected a quarterly drop: from 33% last December to 31%. In real numbers, this means about 500,000 families no longer consider themselves food-poor. According to the SWS, this decline is supported by lower food poverty rates in Visayas and Mindanao, which—compared to last quarter—fell by 17 and 4 points, respectively. Relative to the region’s full-year average for 2015 (51%), Mindanao’s rate especially improved—it is now only at 37%, the lowest quarterly rate since December 2011.

For the past six years, we in the Aquino administration have remained unwavering in our commitment to sustainable and equitable progress. Believing that good governance is good economics, we have sought to better the lives of Filipinos by making appropriate investments in areas such as health, education, infrastructure, and job skills development. All this has resulted in the strengthening of our economy and the expansion of opportunities for our countrymen.

Not content with trickle-down growth, we have also pursued more direct interventions such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Latest studies from the DSWD show that the program has not only successfully lifted millions above the poverty threshold, but has also placed families in a better position to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Now, with the world’s eyes on the Philippines, it is up to the next administration to ensure that our remarkable growth story continues—toward even greater success for the country and even better opportunities for the Filipino.