Pinoys scrimping on food budget–survey

Published by rudy Date posted on January 14, 2009

Until 2003, Filipino families were spending less on food and more on house rental and transportation and communication, according to a survey conducted by the National Statistical Coordination Board.

Citing the 2003 Family Income and Expenditure Survey, Romulo Virola, the secretary general of the statistical board, on Monday said that the Filipino families were spending only 43 percent to 44 percent of their budget on food.

Virola explained that they used 2003 as the base year because they have not yet finished the 2006 survey. He said that the board conducts the income and expenditure survey every three years.

For poor Filipino families, expenditures on food dropped to 61 percent in 2003 from 63 percent in 2000 and 63.5 percent in 1997.

The rich families, or the top 10 percent of the population, spent more on food at 28 percent in 2003 from 27.8 percent in 2000.

After food, Virola said, the next biggest expenditure items for all income groups were rent/rental value of occupied dwelling units at 13.1 percent; transportation and communication, 7.3 percent; fuel, light and water, 6.5 percent; and education, 4 percent.

Expenditures of the poor families on transportation and communication rose to 3.4 percent in 2003 from 2.9 percent in 2000, and house rental from 7.4 percent to 7.6 percent.

For fuel, light and water, the poor families allocated less in 2003 at 6.3 percent from 6.4 percent in 2000.

Virola said that close to 20 percent of the budget of the poor families went to rice, compared to less than 3 percent among the rich families.

“While the bottom 30 percent generally went for ordinary rice, the top 10 percent consumed ordinary rice almost just as much as special rice,” he added.

The National Food Authority was “by no means a major source of rice, even among the bottom 30 percent, who got only about 1/10 of their rice needs from the NFA,” Virola said.

Share of rice in the budget for all income groups dwindled to 7.7 percent in 2003 from 8.4 percent in 2000 and 9.2 percent in 1997.

Decreasing budgetary shares were noted in alcoholic beverages and tobacco, Virola said. –Darwin G. Amojelar, Reporter, Manila Times

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