the latest (march 2011) hunger and poverty survey of SWS got a reaction from president n0ynoy aquino – he said the SWS was unable to properly capture the efforts they did in visayas and mindanao where he said many of the government poverty alleviation programs were implemented. from the point of view of statistics, he means the respondent sampling done by SWS was incorrect.
Aquino finds flaw in hunger survey
“I myself can’t reconcile that sometimes,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to the contrasting survey findings and the claimed achievements of the government’s programs to generate employment and reduce poverty.
President Aquino said the bulk of the data in the SWS survey came from Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
He said that 400,000 new beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program, or CCT, were from the Visayas and Mindanao but this was not reflected in the survey.
“It so happened that the statistical sample used didn’t capture the ones helped by the CCT. If it was reversed, the result would have been skewed to show that more people experienced their hunger being alleviated,” Mr. Aquino said.
The President said the CCT was first rolled out in the Visayas and Mindanao because the poverty incidence was more serious in those areas compared with Metro Manila and Luzon.
aquino is wrong in what he said.
it is not true that the survey failed to capture the government’s poverty alleviation efforts in visayas and mindanao where the government did bulk of their efforts. the hunger ratings in fact in visayas and mindanao went down from previous with 14.7% in march in visayas from previous 18.2% and to 16.7% in mindanao from 21.1% of previous period.
self-claimed “mahirap” or poverty ratings however climbed up in visayas and mindanao. visayas went up to 61% from 53% and mindanao to 49% from 44%.
aquino’s complaint about the sampling skew towards NCR and Luzon is also baseless. bulk of the respondents come from NCR and Luzon for the simple reason that most of the population of the philippines come form these same two areas. that is how sampling design is supposed to be done – you get more respondents from the areas where most of the population are for the sample size to be truly representative of the country. the sample size is supposed to mirror where the people are in the country.
in other words, there is nothing wrong with the sampling design of the SWS survey as aquino is saying. there is only something wrong with aquino’s understanding of what is a good sampling design.
also, one can expect a difference in results between the SWS survey and aquino’s efforts at poverty alleviation for the simple reason that SWS used random sampling while the aquino government’s efforts were not random but purposive and specific. given that, it is possible results will be different.
for the aquino government to find out how effective their efforts are , the aquino government should do a purposive sampling of the actual people they helped and see if their economic lives have changed. in simple terms they should do a before and after study on the specific people they reached.
these are the rest of results: