Poverty incidence among families in Eastern Visayas in the first semester of 2018 significantly dropped to 30.4 percent from 39.9 percent in the same period in 2015. This implies that in the first semester of 2018, around 3 in every 10 families in the region are poor whose income are below the poverty threshold, which is the minimum income required to meet basic food and non-food needs.
Among the provinces in the region, Biliran registered the lowest poverty incidence among families at 18.0 percent. Southern Leyte ranked second lowest at 22.8 percent, followed by Leyte at 29.4 percent, Northern Samar at 30.0 percent, and Samar at 32.2 percent. Meanwhile, Eastern Samar recorded the highest poverty incidence at 43.0 percent.
Significant improvements in poverty incidence among families between the first semester of 2015 and first semester of 2018 were noted in Northern Samar, Samar, and Leyte. Northern Samar recorded the biggest decline in its poverty incidence to 30.0 percent in the first semester of 2018 from 53.8 percent in the first semester of 2015.
The first semester per capita poverty threshold in the region, or the minimum income required to meet basic food and non-food needs of every person, was estimated at P12,201. This indicates an increase of 8.7 percent from the P11,227 first semester per capita poverty threshold in 2015. This implies that in the first semester of 2018, a family of five in Eastern Visayas must have at least P10,168 on the average, every month to meet both basic food and non-food needs.
All provinces in the country were clustered from 1 to 5 using poverty incidence among families as the clustering variable. Cluster 1 comprises the bottom poor provinces and cluster 5 comprises the least poor provinces. Northern Samar moved up by two levels, from cluster 1 in the first semester of 2015 to cluster 3 in the first semester of 2018. The provinces of Samar and Leyte also moved up from cluster 2 in the first semester of 2015 to cluster 3 in the first semester of 2018. On the other hand, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar and Biliran maintained their 2015 first semester cluster categories of cluster 3, cluster 2 and cluster 4, respectively.