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Mar 21, 2016 @ 7:37

Filipinos’ average income can’t catch up with rice price hike – Neda

The price of rice should be lowered to rescue more people from poverty, an official of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

Malaya Business Insight reported that the price of rice rose by 20 percent in the last three years but the Filipino’s average income increased by only P14 percent.

NEDA deputy director Rosemarie Edillon said that the increase in income was not enough to offset the hike in food prices, especially those consumed more by the poor, like rice.

Malaya noted that in the first semester of 2015, a family of five needed at least P6,365 every month just to meet basic food needs, but the incomes of poor families are short by 29 percent of the poverty threshold.

This means a family needs P2,649 more to get out of poverty.

Edillon said many Filipino families could have risen out of poverty had it not been for natural calamities that deprived them of basic needs, including food.

She said the poverty incidence is highest in Mindanao, particularly the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, due to “high dependence on agriculture and the under-performance of the agriculture sector as a whole.”

She said the armed conflicts, peace and security issues, and exposure to natural hazards aggravated the people’s hardship.


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