Poverty situation in Eastern Visayas (First Semester 2018)

Reference Number: 

SR-201905-0800-14

Release Date: 

Friday, May 3, 2019
 
3 in every 10 families in Eastern Visayas are poor
 
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.
 
Data were based on the latest poverty estimates released by the Philippine Statistics Authority using income data from the first visit of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) conducted in July 2018.
 
 
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. Poverty incidence in Samar dropped to 32.2 percent in the first semester in 2018 from 43.9 percent in the same period in 2015. The province of Leyte, meanwhile, registered 29.4 percent poverty incidence during the semester in review, lower than the 38.4 percent in the first semester of 2015.
 
Nearly 4 in every 10 persons in Eastern Visayas are poor
 
Poverty incidence among population in Eastern Visayas in the first semester of 2018 significantly dropped to 37.6 percent from 48.0 percent in the same period in 2015. This implies that about 4 in every 10 persons in the region are poor in the first semester of 2018.
 
 
Biliran registered the lowest poverty incidence among population at 24.9 percent. Southern Leyte ranked second lowest at 29.3 percent, followed by Leyte at 36.0 percent, Northern Samar at 36.6 percent, and Samar at 39.8 percent. Meanwhile, Eastern Samar recorded the highest poverty incidence among population at 52.0 percent.
 
Significant improvements in poverty incidence among population between the first semester of 2015 and first semester of 2018 were observed in Northern Samar and Leyte. Northern Samar dropped to 36.6 percent in the first semester of 2018 from 63.1 percent in the first semester of 2015. While Leyte decreased to 36.0 percent in the first semester of 2018 from 45.9 percent in the same period in 2015.
 
Poverty incidence among population in Biliran, on the other hand, significantly increased to 24.9 percent in the first semester of 2018 from 19.6 percent in the same semester in 2015.
 
Subsistence Incidence among Families
 
The subsistence incidence among families in Eastern Visayas was estimated at 13.1 percent in the first semester of 2018, a significant drop compared with the 20.3 percent subsistence incidence recorded in the first semester of 2015. This means that in the first semester of 2018, about 13 in every 100 families in the region had income lower than the food threshold for a family of five (5) members of Php 42,660, which is the minimum income required to meet basic food needs and satisfy the nutritional requirements set by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) to ensure that one remains economically and socially productive.
 
Among the provinces in the region, Biliran registered the lowest subsistence incidence among families at 5.7 percent. Southern Leyte ranked second lowest at 7.9 percent, followed by Northern Samar at 12.2 percent, Leyte at 13.2 percent, and Samar at 13.6 percent. Eastern Samar recorded the highest subsistence incidence among families at 20.5 percent, or about one (1) in every four (4) families in Eastern Samar is not able to provide the basic food requirement of the family.
 
Subsistence Incidence among Population
 
Subsistence incidence among population in the region was estimated at 17.1 percent in the first semester of 2018, significantly lower than the 26.4 percent level of subsistence incidence in the first semester of 2015. This translates that in the first semester in 2018, 17 in every 100 population in Eastern Visayas had income lower than the per capita food threshold.
 
Biliran province registered the lowest subsistence incidence among population at 7.8 percent. Southern Leyte ranked second lowest at 10.3 percent, followed by Northern Samar at 16.1 percent, Leyte at 16.9 percent, and Samar at 17.9 percent. Eastern Samar recorded the highest subsistence incidence among population at 26.5 percent.
 
Food and Poverty Thresholds
 
 
In the first semester of 2018, a family of five (5) in Eastern Visayas needed at least Php 7,110 on the average, every month to meet the family’s basic food needs. This amount represents the monthly food threshold for a family of five (5) members, which is 8.5 percent higher compared with its 2015 first semester level of Php 6,556.
 
Among the provinces, Samar recorded the lowest monthly food threshold for a family of five (5) at Php 6,533. Leyte ranked second lowest at Php 6,821, followed by Biliran at Php 6,996, Northern Samar at Php 7,360, and Southern Leyte at Php 7,378. Eastern Samar registered the highest monthly food threshold for a family of five (5) at Php 8,212.
Increases in food threshold between the first semester of 2015 and first semester of 2018 were observed among all provinces. Biliran recorded the highest increase at 11.0 percent, while Samar had the lowest at 5.6 percent.
 
Meanwhile, monthly poverty threshold for a family of five (5) in Eastern Visayas in the first semester of 2018 was estimated at Php 10,168, an increase of 8.7 percent from its 2015 first semester level of Php 9,355 . This represents the amount needed every month to meet the family’s basic food and non-food needs.
Among the provinces, Samar recorded the lowest poverty threshold for a family of five (5) at Php 9,365. Leyte ranked second lowest at Php 9,776, followed by Biliran at Php 10,031, Northern Samar at Php 10,540, and Southern Leyte at Php 10,560. Eastern Samar registered the highest monthly poverty threshold for a family of five (5) at Php 11,760.
 
Income Gap, Poverty Gap and Severity of Poverty
 
On the average, income of poor families in the region were short by 29.7 percent of the poverty threshold in the first semester of 2018. This means that on the average, an additional monthly income of Php 3,020 is needed by a poor family with five (5) members in order to move out of poverty in the first semester of 2018. This figure is lower than the recorded 32.1 percent income gap in the first semester of 2015.
 
Biliran recorded the lowest income gap during the first semester of 2018 at 22.8 percent. Southern Leyte ranked second lowest at 26.0 percent, followed by Northern Samar at 28.0 percent, Samar and Leyte at 30.3 percent. Eastern Samar registered the highest income gap at 31.2 percent.
 
The poverty gap of the region dropped to 9.0 percent in the first semester of 2018 from 12.8 percent in the same period in 2015. Poverty gap refers to the income shortfall (expressed in proportion to the poverty threshold) of families with income below the poverty threshold, divided by the total number of families.
 
The severity of poverty likewise declined to 4.0 percent in the first semester of 2018 from 5.6 percent in the first semester of 2015. This indicator is the total of the squared income shortfall (expressed in proportion to the poverty threshold) of families with income below the poverty threshold, divided by the total number of families. This is a poverty measure that is sensitive to income distribution among the poor.
 
Clustering of Provinces based on Poverty Incidence
 
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 its 2015 first semester cluster category of cluster 3, cluster 2, and cluster 4, respectively.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Definition of Terms
 
Food Threshold - the minimum income/expenditure required for a family/individual to meet the basic food needs, which satisfies the nutritional requirements for economically necessary and socially desirable physical activities.
 
Income Gap - The average income shortfall, expressed in proportion to the poverty threshold, of families/individuals with income below the poverty threshold.
 
Notes: The difference between the income gap and the poverty gap is the use of number of poor families/individuals as denominator for the income gap. For the poverty gap, the total number of families/individuals is used.
 
Poverty Incidence - the proportion of families/individuals with per capita income/expenditure less than the per capita poverty threshold to the total number of families/individuals.
 
Poverty Gap - the total income/expenditure shortfall (expressed in proportion to the poverty threshold) of families/ individuals with income/expenditure below the poverty threshold, divided by the total number of families/individuals.
 
Poverty Threshold - the minimum income/expenditure required for a family/individual to meet the basic food and non-food requirements.
 
Notes: Basic food requirements are currently based on 100% adequacy for the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake (RENI) for protein and energy equivalent to an average of 2000 kilocalories per capita, and 80% adequacy for other nutrients. On the other hand, basic non-food requirements, indirectly estimated by obtaining the ratio of food to total basic expenditures from a reference group of families, cover expenditure on: 1) clothing and footwear; 2) housing; 3) fuel, light, water; 4) maintenance and minor repairs; 5) rental of occupied dwelling units; 6) medical care; 7) education; 8) transportation and communication; 9) non-durable furnishings; 10) household operations; and 11) personal care and effects.
 
Severity of Poverty - the total of the squared income/expenditure shortfall (expressed in proportion to the poverty threshold) of families/ individuals with income/expenditure below the poverty threshold, divided by the total number of families/individuals
 
Notes: This is equal to the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) family of measures with alpha = 2. It is a poverty measure, which is sensitive to the income/ expenditure distribution among the poor – the worse this distribution is, the more severe poverty is.
 
Subsistence Incidence - the proportion of families/individuals with per capita income/expenditure less than the per capita food threshold to the total number of families/individuals.
 
 
SGD. WILMA A. PERANTE
Regional Director
 
 

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