MANILA –Malacanang welcomed on Monday a record low self-rated poverty rate, saying Filipinos have started to feel the change promised by President Rodrigo Duterte in the last May 2016.
“Change has indeed come, and it is being felt by our people,” Presidential Communications Office (POC) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press statement.
For two consecutive quarters, Filipino families who considered themselves ‘mahirap’ or poor reached new record low, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey last December 3-6.
In the third month of the Duterte administration last September 2016, the average self-rated poverty rate was 42 percent while in December 2016, it was 44 percent, both surpassed the previous record of 47 percent registered in 1987.
“On the two-point increase in self-rated poverty nationwide, we take note the survey finding that self-rated poverty rose in Balance Luzon,” Andanar said.
“We thus factor in stronger-than usual typhoons that hit Luzon towards the later part of the year which may have affected the perception of our respondents,” he added.
Last year, typhoon Karen damaged thousands of hectares of agricultural lands in Ilocos, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, CALABARZON and Bicol while typhoon Lawin destroyed houses and crops and displaced thousands in the northern part of Luzon.
“The Department of Agriculture has been providing assistance to those affected farmers in the wake of two destructive storms last year,” Andanar said.
According to the SWS survey conducted on 1,500 respondents nationwide, the self-rated poverty reading “has been either steady or declining for nine consecutive quarters from 52 percent in December 2014 to 44 percent in December last year.