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Poverty in the Philippines: Chronic and Transient Poverty

Poverty in the Philippines: Chronic and Transient Poverty

Jan 25, 2012

Poverty in the Philippines: Chronic and Transient Poverty (Note: This piece is a segment from a larger article "Poverty in the Philippines: A Profile", showcased in Focus-Philippines' upcoming Poverty Policy Review) Chronic and Transient Poverty Among Households in 2008 (% of Total Population / % of headcount per category)
Location Chronic Poor (%) Transient Poor (%) Total Poor (%) Previously Poor (%)
Luzon

8.1

17.6

25.7

20.5

Visayas

12.4

23.0

35.4

22.2

Mindanao

20.6

26.9

47.5

23.1

Urban

5.0

14.7

19.7

15.9

Rural

17.1

25.4

42.5

25.1

Source: Chronic and Transient Poverty— Reyes et al. (2010) Chronic and Transient Poverty Among Households in 2008 ( % of headcount per category)
Location Chronic Poor (%) Transient Poor (%) Total Poor (%) Previously Poor (%)
Luzon

33.7

42.7

39.4

49.2

Visayas

20.4

22.2

21.5

21.1

Mindanao

45.9

35.1

39.1

29.7

Urban

15.4

22.5

22.5

28.4

Rural

84.6

73.4

77.5

77.5

Source: Chronic and Transient Poverty— Reyes et al. (2010)   A large divide separates the poor who experience deprivations for a short period of time, and the segment of the poor who are permanently trapped in poverty. For a long time, the dearth of information on these particular movements in and out of poverty has been lamented by economists and poverty analysts, but more recent studies have finally begun to fill in this much-discussed gap. As it turns out, in all major regions of the Philippines, the transient poor outnumber the chronically poor— though some significant disparities do exist in relation to the distribution of transient and chronic poverty over specific areas and degrees of urbanization. As of 2008, the ratio of the chronic poor to the transient poor was smallest in Luzon (0.46), while largest in Mindanao (0.77). At the same time, the ratio of the urban chronic to transient poor (0.34) was much smaller than the corresponding figure for the rural poor (0.67). Across regions, it is striking that the share of 2008’s nonpoor who were previously poor were broadly equivalent across all regions, even as their particular contributions to the total number of nonpoor in the Philippines was different. Luzon’s contribution to today’s nonpoor who were previously poor (49.2%) suggests that anti-poverty/development efforts in the area may have been much more successful compared to the case in Mindanao (29.7%) or the Visayas (21.1%). Interestingly enough, both Luzon and Mindanao contribute roughly the same share to the total poor population of the Philippines (39.4% and 39.1% respectively), even while Mindanao is afflicted with the highest share of chronic poverty (45.9%); Luzon, the highest share of transient poverty (42.7%). The overwhelming total contribution of chronic rural poverty over that of chronic urban poverty is equally arresting— 84.6% versus 15.4%.

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