One in every five Filipinos lives a life that fits that of a prisoner or an inmate based on the income that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) says is the threshold of poverty, a senatorial candidate said on Thursday.
Ding Generoso, former spokesman of the Consultative Committee that drafted a proposed federal constitution, said the P7,337 monthly income that the PSA says is enough to feed a family of five translates to less than P50 for three meals a day for every family member.
“That’s even lower than the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s P60 daily budget for food for every inmate,” Generoso said in a news statement.
“If that is the standard of the PSA, life may even be better for prisoners or inmates. At least they don’t have to worry about paying for electricity, water and rent,” said the candidate of the Katipunan ng Kamalayang Kayumanggi.
Generoso was reacting to the PSA’s claim that poverty incidence has gone down based on the results of its 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey.
“The threshold family income that the PSA established is ridiculously low and unrealistic,” Generoso said, pointing out that it does not even consider the wave of price increases that took place in 2018.
The PSA said that a family of five needs only P10,481 a month to meet basic food and nonfood needs. Of the total, P7,337 is for food or P48 per day per person.
“But even the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) has determined that in 2015, a Filipino would need at least P88 a day to meet calorie and nutrition requirements—and that’s at prices more than three years ago,” said Generoso.