Manila – The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) drew flak for their ‘hypothetical’ monthly budget for a Filipino ordinary family.
During a press conference amid the worsening inflation rate and its effects especially to ordinary Filipinos, Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said that a family of five (5) can survive with a ten thousand pesos (Php 10,000) budget monthly. Further, she added that a family earning a Php 10,000 is not poor. “Siguro fifth level ka na nun. Hindi ka poor. Kasi ang poor, mababa ang poverty line,” said Edillon.
NEDA also showed how to budget a family’s 10,000 peso-income to make it suffice for the all five members. A large portion of the income should go to food and beverages; a pinch of it can even be allotted to common vices like alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Utility bills, fuels and house rental comprise the second largest budget of the family; while only a tad over 300 pesos can be used up for health.
Here’s the breakdown of expenses from a family’s 10 thousand peso-budget:
|Food and non-alcoholic beverages||3,834|
|· Non-alcoholic beverages||288|
|· Alcoholic beverages||65|
|Clothing and Footwear||293|
|Housing, water, electricity, gas & others||2,204|
|· House rental||1,288|
|· Electricity, gas & other fuels||744|
|Furnishing, HH Equipment and Routine Maintenance||295|
|Recreation and Culture||141|
|Restaurants, miscellaneous goods and services||1,259|
But can a P10,000 monthly budget really suffice for an ordinary Filipino family with five members? Netizens weigh in on this estimation from NEDA, but mostly say it’s close to impossible.
Tipid tips from NEDA is the latest slap of this gov’t to the poor. Instead of uplifting lives, well, the government suggests that we stick with what we currently have and budget it.
P10K for 5 persons for 30 days is P66.67 a day to cover food, transpo, meds, education, etc!?!? https://t.co/CL64r95tjp
— Your Lawyer Says (@YourLawyerSays) June 5, 2018
NEDA should also have emphasized that P10k is just a few hundred pesos more than the 2015 poverty line. In fact, by 2018, the poverty line could already have exceeded it.
Hence, by any estimation, P10k really ain’t enough to live a comfortable or “decent” life.
— JC Punongbayan (@jcpunongbayan) June 6, 2018
At 3 meals a day that’s ₱42.60 per meal for FIVE PEOPLE. For my non-Filipino followers, exchange rate now is at ₱52.75 to one US dollar.
WHERE THE F*** DO YOU GET YOUR FIGURES, NEDA?? https://t.co/deHxMYkMSE
— Demontita Of Manila (@mrsunlawyer) June 6, 2018
The NEDA 10 thousand peso-budget also did not sit well with lawmakers. Former NEDA head, now Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said that the NEDA calculation is hard to believe. “That’s very hard to believe. I challenge them to reduce their salary for three months and try to survive with P10,000 a month for 3 months. I bet they will change their calculations,” said Recto.
Senator Panfilo Lacson mocks NEDA statement, saying that his family can live with a P10,000 budget, provided they “would eat once a day,” “won’t brush their teeth nor take a bath,” “walk everyday to and from place of work, but they have to avoid perspiring so they won’t have to wash their clothes.”
Taken out of context
“During the June 5 press briefing on the May 2018 inflation report, NEDA showed how a hypothetical monthly budget of Php10,000 will be affected by a 4.6-percent inflation rate.
The budget was broken down into items commonly consumed by a Filipino household based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) weights published by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
NEDA showed the specific commodities most affected by inflation (e.g. food and fuel). The agency also explained the causes, citing the minimal contribution of tax reform to price increases, and detailed concrete actions the government is taking to address these.
The government will continue to push for the immediate passage of the Rice Tariffication Act, to speed up the implementation of the Unconditional Cash Transfer program, fuel subsidies for jeepney drivers through the Pantawid Pasada Program, and the PUV Modernization Program, and to ramp up investments in infrastructure.
We remain committed to enabling all Filipino families to live a comfortable, secure, and strongly rooted life in line with Ambisyon Natin 2040, the national long term vision.”