Thursday, April 11, 2019

Akbayan on PSA’s PhP 10,481.00 Poverty Threshold

Wazzup Pilipinas!


Akbayan Partylist Spokesperson Gio Tingson on Philippine Statistics Authority’s PhP 10,481.00 Poverty Threshold

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s designated poverty threshold of PhP 10,481.00 for a family of five’s basic food and non-food necessities is ridiculous, out-of-touch, and inhumane. It pegs a person’s expenses per day at PhP 70. Kung kasama ang pagkain dito ng tatlong beses sa isang araw, kulang na kulang at hindi makatao! Ang layo nito sa minimum wage at mas malayo pa sa living wage.

Experiences from the ground will debunk this data from the PSA. Increasing cost of goods brought about by the implementation of the TRAIN Law, inflation, and excise taxes on fuel has led to a higher cost of living.  The designated poverty threshold is also blind to the nuances of the basic needs of families in the rural and urban areas, and families with infants and senior citizens as members.

The threshold is so basic that it robs Filipino families in poverty of any humane standard of living that includes not only food but also rent, electricity and water, transportation costs, communication expenses, and access to affordable medicines.  The PSA has released dangerous data: it distorts the real poverty situation in the country and alienates families in poverty from poverty-alleviation programs of the government. 

Perhaps a challenge can be posed to the officials of PSA: a month-long ten-thousand-peso challenge.  If they believe that the poverty threshold for a family of five in the country is capped at 10,481 pesos, they should try living within this means for a month?

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