Thursday, August 13, 2015

Measuring Poverty (2)

In the Philippines, the President talked about the decreased number of poor based on the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) pegging the number of poor at 26%. According to Rep. Colmenares, this is based on a poverty threshold of P58 pesos per day. This is to say that for a Filipino can live on P58 pesos per day. That’s P58 pesos for food and non-food expenses, including electricity, water and housing, transport expenses, and sending one’s children to school.

Others say a more honest assessment would peg the poverty threshold at P125 per day per person. This of course would mean that 66% of Filipinos are actually poor – very far from the 26% that the government likes to celebrate. Now consider: P125 per day per person is not much given the rising cost of goods and the lack of free basic services. IBON Philippines pegs the threshold at least at P181 per person per day. That of course is not a number that the government wants to hear. Being in denial about the number of poor after all is part of the delusion. The President cannot be honest about the real state of poverty of the country.

Forbes Magazine say that the combined wealth of 40 of the richest families in the Philippines at P3.2 trillion pesos.
2.8 million hectares of land are owned by big landlords, while 70% of farmers do not own land.

Where is the justice in a minimum wage of P481 pesos per day? If workers get that at all, given what we now know to be the crisis of subcontracting and contractual work, with no benefits and no security, and the reckless endangerment of workers’ lives in factories that ignore safety regulations.