2.3 million Filipinos pushed into poverty due to COVID-19 pandemic

Government data showed more Filipinos lived below the poverty line in 2021 largely due to the economic downturn brought about by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 2.3 million Filipinos fell into poverty between 2018 to 2021 mainly because of the pandemic-induced economic crisis, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Preliminary results of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) for 2021 showed that poverty incidence among the population rose to 18.1% from 16.7% in 2018.

This translates to 19.99 million Filipinos who lived below the poverty threshold last year, which is more than 2018’s figure of 17.67 million.

The 2021 data on poverty incidence also means the government failed to meet the previous administration’s target range of 15.5% to 17.5%.

Poverty incidence measures the number of Filipinos who don’t have enough income to afford basic needs.

In 2021, a family of five needed an average P12, 030 per month for basic food and non-food needs, the PSA said. The poverty threshold in 2018 was at P10,756.

Meanwhile, subsistence incidence, or the proportion of Filipinos whose income is not enough to meet the most basic food needs, was registered at 5.9% in 2021. This is slightly higher than the 5.2% recorded in 2018.

Metro Manila and Calabarzon were among the regions with the lowest poverty incidence among families while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao posted the highest.

At the provincial level, Cavite was among the provinces that registered the lowest poverty incidence among families in 2015, 2018, and 2021.

Thumbnail photo by @dasalwarrior from Unsplash

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