THE number of Filipinos considered poor in the Central Visayas has increased by nearly 10% in 2021 due to the effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and Typhoon Odette, the Authority’s office said on Friday. Philippine Statistics (PSA) 7, 14 October 2022.
National Statistician and PSA Under-Secretary-General for Vital Statistics, Dennis Mapa, said that based on the results of the preliminary 2021 Family Expenditure and Income Survey (FIES), the incidence of poverty in the Central Visayas fell from 17.7% in 2018 to 27.6%. compared to the 29.4% recorded in 2015.
The 27.6% translates to approximately 2.22 million poor Filipinos out of the region’s more than eight million people.
Among families, the incidence of poverty was 22.1% in 2021, equivalent to 434,000 poor families. This is also higher than the 13.4% recorded in 2018.
The incidence of poverty was defined as “the proportion of families or individuals whose per capita income is below the per capita poverty line compared to the total number of families or individuals”.
The poverty line is the minimum income required for a family or an individual to meet their basic food and non-food needs.
In Central Visayas, Mapa said a Filipino needs at least an average income of P2,602 per month to meet their basic food and non-food needs in 2021. A family of five, meanwhile, needed an average of P13,008 per month.
He said Negros Oriental recorded the highest incidence of poverty at 29.3%, followed by Cebu Province at 28.6%, Bohol at 23.8% and Siquijor having the lowest at 3.4. %.
The incidence of poverty in the highly urbanized cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Cebu was recorded at 15.1, 14.7 and 14.0 percent, respectively.
As for the incidence of poverty among families, Negros Oriental remains at the top of the list with 23.6%, followed by the province of Cebu with 22.8%, Bohol with 19.1% and Siquijor with 2, 2%.
Lapu-Lapu City had the highest incidence of poverty among families at 10.8%, followed by Mandaue City at 10.4% and Cebu City at 9.8%.
Siquijor was the only province in the Central Visayas considered “least poor” in 2021.
Mapa said there are two factors that affect the poverty line: rising commodity prices and rising incomes.
“So all good, talagang can nakikita tayong adjust the price, so it’s a question of whether the price adjusts very quickly or rather slowly. Pag tumataas yung presyo, tumataas yung natin poverty line. Thus, we increase our income, and welcome poor families among poor families,” he said.
(So every year we see an adjustment in prices, so it’s a question of whether the price adjusts very fast or rather slowly. When the price goes up, our poverty line goes up. So it’s possible that s there is no increase in income, the number of our poor families will really increase.)
‘ Yung pangalawang aside his estimate is the increase in income. Noong 2015 and 2018, may increase prices din sa, so there was an increase in poverty line, pero mas mabilis yung increase in income sa, kaya tumaas yung threshold, pero tumaas din yung income,” he said. added.
(Another factor is the increase in income. In 2015 and 2018 there was an increase in prices, so there was also an increase in the poverty line, but the increase in income was faster, so as the threshold increased, the income also increased.)
At Siquijor, he said they saw no movement in commodity prices between 2018 and 2021. “The price was almost flat.”
Dolores Molintas, director in charge of the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7, said based on their observation, “the life of the people of Siquijor is simple and the people of Siquijor are self-sufficient, the way I see this .”
“They have simple needs. And also if you noticed, yung typhoon Odette didn’t really hit Siquijor. It is also for these reasons that Siquijor has been able to maintain its incidence of poverty since 2018,” she said.
Typhoon Odette hit the Visayas, particularly Bohol and Cebu, on December 16, 2021, wreaking havoc and killing over 400 people.
Besides Odette, the Covid-19 pandemic has also left several people unemployed in Cebu and other parts of the region, Mapa said.
“It’s really on the revenue side, which means revenue is important. It’s because of the pandemic,” he said.
Based on recent data from PSA, Central Visayas recorded an unemployment rate of 8.2% in April 2021. This rate fell to 8% in January 2022 and fell further to 5.2% in April 2022.
The rate has improved as more businesses have reopened, while some commercial activities have resumed two years since the start of the Covid-12 pandemic.
“I hope we can reduce the incidence of poverty now that the economy has reopened,” Mapa said.