Poverty, Malnutrition, Education–and Soybeans

A few posts ago, we were unto the pedagogy of poverty, the effects of malnutrition on the quality of education and educational reforms and why soybeans, if propagated domestically and integrated into the Filipino diet may yet be the difference-maker for an entire nation–and then we have the following one-paragraph article full of statistics and grim numbers to prove that half the nation is mired in poverty:

SWS:  Half of Filipino families say they are poor
ABS-CBN – Wednesday, August 5

poorhouseMANILA – Half of Filipino families in the country believe they are poor while another 27 percent put themselves on the borderline, a new survey by research firm Social Weather Stations said Tuesday. The June 19-22 survey showed that an estimated 9.3 million Filipino families believe they are poor, compared to the 8.7 million recorded in February 2009. Self-rated poverty rose by 17 points in Mindanao from 45 percent in February to 62 percent in June. It also rose by two points in Balance Luzon from 42 percent to 44 percent. It dropped by seven points in Metro Manila and four points in the Visayas. It rose slightly from 43 percent to 44 percent in urban areas and from 53 percent to 58 percent in rural areas. SWS said the Self-Rated Poverty Threshold, or the monthly budget that poor households need in order not to consider themselves poor in general, remained sluggish for several years despite considerable inflation. “This indicates that poor families have been lowering their living standards, i.e., belt-tightening,” it said. As of June 2009, the median poverty threshold for poor households in Metro Manila stayed at P10,000, even though it had already reached as much as P15,000 several times in the past. “The National Capital Region median poverty threshold of P10,000 per month for June 2009 is equivalent to only P6,378 in base year 2000 purchasing power, after deflation by the CPI. The deflated poverty threshold for NCR of below P7,000 per month is a throw-back to living standards of over twenty years ago,” SWS said. For those in Mindanao, the median poverty threshold stayed at P5,000, though it had already been at P10,000 before.   The median poverty thresholds of poor households rose slightly to P8,000 in the Visayas, while it fell to P6,000 in Balance Luzon. In both areas, however, median poverty thresholds had already reached P10,000 in the past. Self-rated food poverty up The Second Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey also found that 7.2 million families considered themselves as Food-Poor, 33 percent put themselves on the food-borderline while 28 percent consider themselves as not food-poor. SWS said the one-quarter rise in Self-Rated Food Poverty is also sharpest in Mindanao. It rose by 11 points, from 36 percent in February to 47 percent in June. The median food-poverty thresholds for poor households rose slightly to P5,000 in Metro Manila, while it stayed at 3,000 in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, and at P4,000 in the Visayas. These levels had already been reached several years ago. The Second Quarter of 2009 Social Weather Survey was conducted over June 19-22, 2009 using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao, and 600 in the Balance of Luzon.


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