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Characteristics of Poor Families in the Philippines (Findings from the 2008 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey)

Reference Number: 503
Release Date: 21 April 2010

Two in three heads of poor families have at most an elementary education

Heads of the families belonging to the bottom 30% income stratum tend to be less educated compared to heads of families in the upper 70% income stratum. The bottom 30% of all families in this report represents the poor families. Two out of three (65%) family heads belonging to the bottom 30% income stratum had at most an elementary education (Table 1). In comparison, 34 percent of family heads belonging to the upper 70% income stratum were of similar levels of education (no grade completed/pre-school, 2%; elementary undergraduates, 15%; and elementary graduates, 17%).

About three out of ten (27%) family heads in the upper 70% income stratum had attended college or higher level of education, while only 5 percent of family heads in the bottom 30% income stratum had attained that level of education.

Overall, three-fourths of all family heads did not reach college, that is, 21 percent of them were elementary undergraduates, 20 percent were elementary graduates, 12 percent were high school undergraduates and 22 percent were high school graduates. Only three percent had no grade completed. Those who had some college education comprised 10 percent and those who graduated from college, 11 percent.

Two in every five poor Filipino families do not have electricity in their homes

Based on the results of the 2008 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey, 36 percent of families in the bottom 30% income stratum do not have electricity in their homes compared to 8 percent among families in the upper 70% income stratum (Table 2).

At the national level, 16 percent of all families do not have electricity.

Regions with the highest percentages of families without electricity are Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) (43%), MIMAROPA (33%) and Zamboanga Peninsula (33%).

Seven in ten poor families have access to safe water

Seven in 10 families that belong to the bottom 30% income stratum have access to safe water compared to nine in 10 families in the upper 70% income stratum (Table 3).

Overall, 84 percent of the total families have access to a safe source of water supply. Considered as clean and safe sources of water supply are community water system and protected well. The remaining 16 percent of families obtain their water from sources considered unsafe, such as unprotected well (5%), developed spring (4%), undeveloped spring (2%), river, stream, pond, lake or dam (1%), rainwater (less than one percent), and tanker truck or peddler (3%).

Four regions in Luzon have over 90 percent of their families with access to safe water. These are Central Luzon (96%), Cagayan Valley (93%), Ilocos (93%) and National Capital Region (NCR) (92%).

In ARMM, less than half (49%) of the families have access to safe water.

One in four poor families has no sanitary toilet

Poor families are more likely to use an unsanitary toilet than non-poor families. Sanitary toilet refers to flush toilet (either owned or shared) and closed pit type of toilet facility. The percentage of poor families without sanitary toilet at home is 24 percent compared to five percent among non-poor families (Table 4).

At the national level, the proportion of Filipino families using sanitary toilets is 89 percent. Other families use open pit (3%), drop or overhang (1%) and pail system (1%), which are considered unsanitary toilets. There are six percent families without toilet facilities in their homes at all.

Regions with over 20 percent of families without sanitary toilets are Central Visayas (21%) and ARMM (52%).

Sixty-five percent of poor families in the country own the house and lot they occupy

Among the families in the bottom 30% income stratum, 65 percent own their house and lot while among the upper 70% income stratum, 70 percent.

In NCR, only 31 percent of families in the bottom 30% income stratum own the house and lot they are occupying.

Among the regions, NCR (49%) and Western Visayas (54%) have the lowest percentage of families owning house and lot.

At the national level, 69 percent of families in the country own the house and lot they occupy (Table 5). The remaining 31 percent occupy houses and lots under the following tenure: own house, rent-free lot with consent of owner (12%), rent house/room including lot (8%), rent-free house and lot with consent of owner (5%), own house, rent-free lot without consent of owner (4%), own house, rent lot (2%), and rent-free house and lot without consent of owner (less than one percent).

Majority of Filipino families are residing in single houses

Nine in ten (93%) Filipino families are residing in single houses (Table 6). The other families dwell in either apartment/accessoria/ condominium/townhouse (4%), duplex houses (3%), or commercial/ industrial/agricultural buildings (less than one percent).

In NCR, 16 percent are living in apartments, accessoria, condominiums or townhouses. Hence, a much lower percentage (78%) of families in the NCR are living in single houses.

Almost half of poor families are living in housing units with a floor area of 10 to 29 square meters

Among the families in the bottom 30% income stratum, the largest proportion (48%) are occupying housing units with a floor area of 10 to 29 sq. m. (Table 7). Three out of ten (32%) families in this income stratum are living in housing units with a floor area of 30 to 49 sq. m.

Families belonging to the upper 70% income stratum are living in housing units with a larger floor area. Forty percent of the families in the upper 70% income stratum live in housing units with a floor area of at least 50 sq. m. compared to 15 percent of families in the bottom 30% income stratum.

Sixty-five percent of families in the country are living in housing units with a floor area of 10 to 49 square meters (sq. m.). Three out of ten (32%) families are living in housing units with a floor area of 10 to 29 sq. m. while 33 percent are in housing units with a floor area of 30 to 49 sq. m.

Almost half of families in the bottom 30% income stratum in CALABARZON have housing units with floor area of 30 to 49 sq. m. Two out of five families in the upper 70% income stratum in Zamboanga Peninsula, SOCCSKSARGEN and Davao are living in housing units with a floor area of 10 to 29 sq. m.

Almost three in five poor families are living in houses with roofs made of strong materials

Eighty-five percent of families in the upper 70% income stratum have housing units made of strong roofs compared to only 58 percent of families in the bottom 30% income stratum (Table 8). Strong materials include galvanized iron/aluminum, tile, concrete, brick, stone and asbestos.

Three in 10 poor families have roofs made of light materials. Considered as light materials are cogon, nipa and anahaw.

Overall, Filipino families living in houses with roofs made of strong materials comprised 77 percent.

Two out of five poor families are occupying housing units with outer walls made of strong materials

Only 43 percent of families in the bottom 30% income stratum are living in housing units with outer walls made of strong materials compared to 76 percent among families in the upper 70% income stratum (Table 9). Strong materials include concrete, brick, stone, asbestos, galvanized iron/aluminum and tile.

Families occupying housing units with outer walls made of strong materials constitute 66 percent of total families in the Philippines.

Among the regions, Cordillera Administrative Region recorded the highest percentage (88%) of families living in houses with strong outer walls.

Western Visayas has the lowest percentage (41%) of families living in houses with strong outer walls.

Television is the most visible household appliance in poor Filipino homes

Television is the most visible household appliance in Filipino homes. Seven out of ten families own this (Table 10). Television is the most common appliance for the upper 70% income stratum (82%) and also for the bottom 30% income stratum (43%).

Over 50 percent of families in the regions own a television, except in Zamboanga Peninsula (47%) and ARMM (36%).

Cellular phone is the second most popular household convenience with 64 percent of families in the country having at least one member owning this. Even among families in the bottom 30% income stratum, a significant proportion (36%) own a cellular phone. Among families in the upper 70% income, the proportion is 76 percent.

Aircon (8%), landline telephone (9%) and personal computer (10%) are the least common household conveniences. This is true for both income strata. Only less than one percent of families in the bottom 30% income stratum own these conveniences. The percentages of ownership of aircon, landline telephone and personal computer for the upper 70% income stratum are 11, 13, and 14 percent, respectively.

 

 

TECHNICAL NOTES

The Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide information on the different non-income indicators related to poverty. Since 1998, APIS has been conducted during the years when the Family Income and Expenditures Survey is not conducted. APIS provides social, economic and demographic data on Filipino families which have been correlated with poverty.

The 2008 APIS is the sixth in the series of annual poverty indicators surveys conducted by the National Statistics Office. Fieldwork for the 2008 APIS was carried out on July 8 to 31, 2008.

Of the 43,020 eligible sample households for the 2008 APIS, 40,613 were successfully interviewed. This translated to a response rate of 94.4 percent at the national level. Households which were not interviewed either refused to be interviewed or were not available or were away during the survey period.

For the purpose of this report, families are grouped into two income strata, the Bottom 30% and Upper 70%. This grouping of families was used as a proxy for those falling below the poverty line. The Bottom 30% refers to the lowest 30 percent of the total families in the per capita income distribution, arranged in descending order. These families are considered the poor families. On the other hand, the Upper 70%, considered as non-poor, refers to the upper 70 percent of the total families in the per capita income distribution.

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