From 22.2 percent in the first semester of 2015, the country’s poverty incidence or the proportion of families with an income that falls below the poverty line to the total number of families, has been reduced to 16.1 percent. This data, which means that the quality of the Filipino life keeps on improving, is from a report released recently by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
By Q1 last year, the food threshold or the monthly basic food needs of a Filipino family with five members were averaging at PHP 7,337 while the poverty threshold or the amount of both food and non-food needs of the same family size sample was PHP 10,481 on average. From the same period earlier in 2015, these recent threshold values are 10.9 percent higher. With food and non-food prices rising, it is admirable to see that more families are being alleviated from the poverty line.
The basic food needs for the food threshold must first be in accordance to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (FNRI) nutritional requirements aimed to maintain an individual’s economic and social productivity. Meanwhile, the non-food needs pertaining to clothing, fuel, electricity and water supply, housing, rental of occupied dwelling units, transportation, health, and education among others.
Even for a Filipino individual, the same outcome can be observed. Of the total Filipino population, 21.0 percent is currently below the poverty line. Although the number is still considered to be significant, President Duterte’s relentless pursuance for economic development has been the reason why the percentage is now lower compared to  the individual poverty incidence in the same period of 2015 which was 27.6 percent, a 6.6 percent reduction.
This data portrays that, even though the cost of living has grown exponentially, more Filipino families and individuals are escaping the poverty line. Back in 2015, there was a 9.9 percent of Filipino families considered to be food poor, or whose incomes fall below the food threshold. Now, that number is down to 6.2 percent, bringing a decrease of a whopping 3.7 percent. Meanwhile, for Filipino individual, it used to be 13 percent. But now the value shrunk to 8.5 percent.
“As we commend the responsible departments and agencies for doing their respective jobs with commitment and fervor, we will not rest, but rather continue to work hard to achieve our target of decreasing poverty incidence to 14%,” said Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson, Salvador S. Panelo.
According to Panelo, the threshold and incidence values highlight the significant strides made by the Duterte administration with the goal of ensuring that Filipinos directly benefit from the country’s economic gains. Aside from thresholds and incidences, the PSA also released other poverty-related statistics in the report, such as the income gap, poverty gap and severity of poverty.

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