The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for the first time conducted a regional dissemination forum on the 2018 Full Poverty Statistics across the country. The PSA Central Visayas held its forum on 28 January 2020 at Mezzo Hotel, Cebu City where government agencies, the academic community, the private sector, media and other stakeholders were invited.
Assistant National Statistician Wilma Guillen of PSA Central Office presented the Methodology in generating the poverty statistics for the participants to understand and appreciate more the result. The data inputs for poverty estimation are: (1) Provincial food bundles developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI); (2) Price data for agricultural and non-agricultural commodities collected by PSA; and (3) Income data of Filipino families of 5 members and per capita from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), also collected by PSA.
The result was presented by the Regional Director of PSA 7 Engr. Ariel E. Florendo. According to the result, a family of five in Central Visayas needed at least PhP10,705, on average, to meet both basic food and non-food needs in a month in 2018. The poverty incidence among Filipino families in Central Visayas in 2018 was estimated at 13.2 percent and noted a decrease of 11.5 percent compared to 2015 estimates. This means that there are 132 for every 1000 families with income below the amount needed to meet their food and non-food needs. Moreover, the poverty incidence among population in Central Visayas in 2018 was estimated at 17.5 percent and noted a decrease of 11.6 percent from the poverty incidence in 2015.
Regional Director of NEDA 7 Efren B. Carreon emphasized that the poverty situation in Central Visayas for 2018 is better off than that of Region V, Region VII, and among regions in Mindanao but behind in Region VI. In the Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022, the target poverty incidence among families was 21.6 percent and the target poverty incidence among population was 25.3 percent which implies that the region performed better than expected, attaining the target five (5) years ahead of schedule. Also, the government has less than 10 years to implement programs geared towards the attainment and to achieve the Social Development Goals of “No Poor” (SDG 1) and “Zero Hunger” (SDG 2) by 2030.
He also added that with this drastic reduction of the poverty incidence, the government shall not be complacent and shall continue to efficiently implement programs and projects and that all efforts will contribute to poverty reduction as outlines in the AmBisyon Natin 2040 leading to all to a “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay”.
Moreover, ANS Guillen added that there will be a plan to review the poverty estimation methodology starting this year 2020 and it takes 2-3 years for the development of the estimation.
As per Republic Act 8425 of 1997, the poor are individuals and families whose income fall below the poverty threshold as defined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and/or cannot afford in a sustained manner to provide their minimum basic needs of food, health, education, housing and other essential amenities of life. Executive Order No. 352 mandated the PSA to release the Official Poverty Statistics every three years.