Amid spiralling prices, more than half of Filipinos now believe they are poor

The percentage of families who consider themselves to be poor, or ‘mahirap’ since 1983

Amid the rising cost of basic goods, more than half of Filipinos have told pollsters that they are poor — the highest proportion since 2014.

The Malacañang has expressed concern after a survey found that more than half of Filipinos believe they are poor. 

Speaking today (Wednesday, October 10) a presidential spokesman assured that measures were already in place to tackle spiralling inflation.

In a survey conducted from September 15 to 23, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found 52 per cent of families consider themselves to be poor.

By contrast, a similar poll conducted in April of this year found only 42 per cent of respondents describing themselves as living in poverty.

Moreover, the survey also found 36 per cent of families rating the food available as “mahirap” — making them food-poor.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said: “We view with concern the Third Quarter 2018 Social Weather Stations survey showing 52 per cent of Filipino families considered themselves as mahirap and 36 per cent rating their food as mahirap.” 

Roque also said the Malacañang understood the public sentiment, noting that the survey was conducted in September — the same month that inflation rose to 6.7 per cent.

He added that there were many factors which contributed to this higher inflation including the destruction of crops caused by Typhoon Ompong.

However, he vowed that the government had implemented measures to cushion the impact of inflation and get food on the table of poor families.

“There shouldn’t be any Filipino family going hungry. That is the desire of the president,” he said.

Yesterday, Roque announced that President Duterte had approved the unimpeded importation of rice as part of efforts to combat rising prices.

“He wants to flood the market with rice so that even if the price of crude and other oil prices should go up still further, that people will have access to affordable rice,” he said.

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