PSA poverty threshold ‘fits a prisoner’s life’ — Generoso
MANILA, Philippines — One in every five Filipinos lives “a life that fits that of a prisoner” based on the income and poverty threshold that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported, senatorial candidate Ding Generoso said Thursday.
The PSA reported Wednesday that poverty incidence declined by 6.6 percent in the first half of 2018 from the same period in 2015.
For 2018, the agency pegged the monthly poverty threshold for a family of five at P10,481, with food expenses accounting for P7,337. This means families earning and consuming more than that are not considered poor.
But the P7,337 monthly income that the PSA claimed as enough to feed a family of five translates to less than P50 for three meals a day for every family member, said Generoso, former spokesman of the Consultative Committee that drafted a proposed federal constitution.
“That’s even lower the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s 60 pesos daily budget for food for every inmate,” he added in a 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.
“Sa totoo lang, mahigit 20 milyong Pilipino ang bilanggo ng kahirapan; para na ring nakakulong,” he added.
Like Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and opposition senatorial bet Samira Gutoc, Generoso also believes that the threshold family income that the PSA established was “ridiculously low and unrealistic.”
Generoso also cited a Food and Nutrition Research Institute report which determined that in 2015, a Filipino would need at least P88 a day to meet calorie and nutrition requirements.
“And for as long as government refuses to see or glosses over these realities and tries to paint a glossy picture every time it speaks, there is no way government would be able to come up with the right solutions to the poverty problem,” he added. /je
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