Poverty incidence fell from 17% to 12%– and this is not due to a conscious effort by government to address the root causes of this scourge of humanity. Poverty incidence got a lower rate of 16% nationwide, yet 12% of families still are below the poverty line. Expect this to grow even further as poverty continues to stalk Filipinos living in the provinces due to the slow destruction of the agricultural sector.
“The full year 2018 poverty incidence among population,” says the Philippine Statistics Authority, ” or the proportion of poor Filipinos whose per capita income is not sufficient to meet their basic food and non-food needs, was estimated at 16.6 percent. This translates to 17.6 million Filipinos who lived below the poverty threshold estimated at PhP 10,727, on average, for a family of five per month in 2018.
“On the other hand, subsistence incidence among Filipinos, or the proportion of Filipinos whose income is not enough to meet even the basic food needs, was registered at 5.2 percent in 2018. The monthly food threshold for a family of five was estimated, on average, at PhP 7,528.
Among families, the proportion of poor families in 2018 was estimated at 12.1 percent, which is equivalent to around three million families. Meanwhile, the subsistence incidence among families was recorded at 3.4 percent, or around 800 thousand food poor families in 2018.” see link.
As rural areas begin to slowly descend to the pits of extreme poverty, expect the great exodus of poor rural folk to the cities. The National Capital Region (NCR) is exceedingly overpopulated, making it Asia’s first mega, mega city. Hoseley defines a megacity as a place which houses 10 million or more individuals or to be very specific, 2,000 individuals per square kilometer see link. As of 2019, Filipinos residing in the Metro have far exceeded this 10 million peg to 14.5 million.
Who benefits from this continuing poverty in the backwaters of Philippine society? These are recruitment agencies who gets their income from service fees processing papers for potential overseas domestic helpers. Human traffickers are having a field day in the Philippines, preying on hapless Filipinas who want nothing more than escape the fangs of poverty that trap millions of rural Filipino folk to an endless cycle of modern slavery.
It is the big manufacturers who employ Filipinos under their care only to neglect their duties of paying their fellow Filipinos the right salaries and give them the proper benefits.
How many of these families now indulge in the criminal world? How many are now lumpen proletariat?
For many of us, poverty is just a figure. We are not considering poverty as a social abstract, something which drastically alters our socio-cultural landscape in the long run.