The Philippine GDP per capita shrank to US$990 in 2000 from US$1,129 in 1997 while the GNP per capita contracted to US$1,033 from US$1,197. This was a result of the Asian financial crisis, which caught up with the Philippines in 1998.
After expanding 5.2 percent in 1997, the country's GDP backpedaled by 0.5 percent in 1998. It grew by only 3.4 percent in 1999 and 4 percent in 2000. With a high population growth rate of 2.3 percent annually, economic growth in 1999 and 2000 did little to improve the real per capita income of Filipinos.
The Poor and the Rich
In its 2000 survey of family income and expenditure, the NSO said that the average income of the population's 10th decile, representing the richest 10 percent of the Filipinos, was 14 times higher than the average earnings of the first decile, representing the poorest 10 percent. Each decile was representing about 8 million Filipinos.
32 Million Poor Filipinos
With the adjustment on poverty threshold, the number of Filipinos considered poor or affected by poverty incidence swell to 30 million or 39.4 percent of the population in 2000 from 36.8 percent in 1997. According to the Commission on Population (Popcom), the figure could have further climbed to 32 million or 40 percent of the population in 2002. In terms of number of families, poverty incidence affected 33.7 percent of all Filipino families in 2000 from only 31.8 percent in 1997.
5.1 Million Poor Families
The NSO reported that in 2000, poverty incidence affected 19.9 percent of families in urban areas and 46.9 percent in rural areas. Real number of poor families climbed to 5.1 million, 1.5 million of them in urban areas and 3.6 million in rural areas. Some 2.5 million families were living in subsistence level, meaning their income was not enough to buy their basic food requirements.
Poor and Near Poor, 58 Percent
In its 2001 report, the World Bank said 12.7 percent of Filipinos were "poor",... [continues]
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