January 31, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – Poverty incidence among families in Eastern Visayas in 2018 significantly improved to 24.0 percent from 32.9 percent in 2015. This implies that in 2018, around 1 in every 4 families in the region is poor or has income below the poverty threshold, which is the amount required to meet basic food and non-food needs.
In 2018, poverty incidence among families in Eastern Samar was estimated at 40.9 percent; Northern Samar at 27.4 percent; Samar at 22.1 percent; Leyte (including Tacloban City) at 21.9 percent; Southern Leyte at 17.2 percent; and Biliran at 13.8 percent.
Significant improvements in poverty incidence among families between 2015 and 2018 were noted in Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte. Northern Samar recorded the biggest decline in its poverty incidence among families to 27.4 percent in 2018 from 51.5 percent in 2015. Poverty incidence among families in Samar dropped to 22.1 percent in 2018 from 41.8 percent in 2015. The province of Southern Leyte, meanwhile, registered 17.2 percent poverty incidence among families in 2018, lower than the 32.7 percent in 2015.
Given the new master sample, PSA was able to generate reliable statistics down to the provincial level as well as for highly urbanized cities (HUCs). Poverty incidence among families for Leyte (excluding Tacloban City) was estimated at 23.8 percent in 2018, while poverty incidence among families for Tacloban City was recorded at 6.0 percent (Table 1).
The 2018 annual 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 P24,979. This indicates an increase of 11.7 percent from the P22,371 annual per capita poverty threshold in 2015. This implies that in 2018, a family of five in Eastern Visayas must have at least P10,408, 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.
In 2018, three (3) provinces moved one (1) cluster higher from 2015, namely Northern Samar, Southern Leyte and Samar. The rest of the provinces maintained their 2015 cluster categories.
Only the Province of Biliran belonged to cluster 4 in 2018. Three (3) provinces: Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Samar, belonged to cluster 3. Meanwhile, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar were classified in cluster 2 (Table 2).