A LITTLE more than a tenth of Filipinos in 2003 could be considered poor under an expanded poverty index that will be used in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report scheduled to come out this October, the institution that crafted the method said in a statement.
In a bid to present a more accurate, comprehensive picture of poverty, the so-called Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), developed under the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative with UNDP support, expanded to 10 the number of indicators from the five under the supplanted Human Development Index (HDI) that was used from 1990-2009.
Specifically, the MPI considers as a more accurate measure of the three dimensions of human development -- education, health and living standard -- the 10 indicators of schooling (at least one household member completed five years) and enrollment of children aged 1-8 years for education; child mortality and nutrition for health; as well as electricity, sanitation, drinking water, floor ("deprived" if the household has dirt, sand or dung floor), cooking fuel and assets ("deprived" if the household does not own more than one of: radio, TV, telephone, bike or motorbike, and does not own a car or tractor) for living standard.
In comparison, the HDI considered adult literacy and enrollment for education; life expectancy for health; as well as purchasing power parity and income for living standard.
Under the new measure, about 12.6% of the Philippine population in 2003 -- or about 11.2 million -- were considered "multidimensionally poor," compared to a 12.4% incidence under the old HDI measure.
Under standard income-based measures of poverty, 23% of Filipinos that year were living on less than $1.25 a day and 45% were living on less than $2/day.
In comparison, latest available Philippine government estimates show 30% of the population were living under the income-based poverty threshold in 2003, increasing to 32.9% in 2006.
Under the MPI method, the Philippines placed 56th among 104 developing countries covered by the Oxford study, compared to 54th among 135 countries in the 2009 HPI.
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