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NEDA clarifies: P10,000 a month only hypothetical figure

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Wednesday clarified that it did not say that a family of five can live decently with P10,000 a month.

In an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said the P10,000 a month budget was only a "hypothetical figure" to demonstrate how a five-member family can apportion the money for certain commodities.

"Mali po 'yung konteksto, hindi po namin sinabi na 'yun ang kailangan for a decent living," she said.

"Hypothetical siya... kung P10,000 ang budget mo sa isang buwan paano 'yan pinaghahati-hati dati pagkatapos," Edillion added.

The NEDA official said that the P10,000 a month figure was only meant to demonstrate how a family can allocate and adjust the budget when prices for certain commodities prices go up.

"Ang sinasabi namin kung P10,000 ang budget mo paano kaya ito ina-apportion to certain commodity items...Iba-iba naman po 'yung paggalaw ng mga items so tinignan namin alin dito 'yung pinakagumalaw," Edillon said.

"'Yung sa P10,000 ang tiningnan namin paano bina-budget ng somebody with P10,000 a month ang kanyang kita tapos ano 'yung epekto ng inflation. Wala kaming sinasabi na 'yun 'yung disente na kailangan," she said.

According to Maki Pulido's report on "24 Oras", a sample household budget from the NEDA showed that P3,834 is enough to feed the same family of five for 30 days. 

In a separate statement, the NEDA said that during the June 5 press briefing on the May 2018 inflation report, the agency showed how a hypothetical monthly budget of P10,000 will be affected by a 4.6-percent inflation rate.

"The budget was broken down into items commonly consumed by a Filipino household based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) weights published by the Philippine Statistics Authority," the NEDA said.

"NEDA showed the specific commodities most affected by inflation (e.g. food and fuel). The agency also explained the causes, citing the minimal contribution of tax reform to price increases, and detailed concrete actions the government is taking to address these," it added.

The NEDA official also said that the government has yet to finish a study on how much budget does a family need to live decently.

"'Yan po talaga ay ginagamitan po ng masusing konsultasyon," Edillon said. "Hindi pa po namin natatapos 'yung actual study, nag-uumpisa palang 'yung consultation."

The NEDA said the government will continue to push for the immediate passage of the Rice Tariffication Act, to speed up the implementation of the Unconditional Cash Transfer program, fuel subsidies for jeepney drivers through the Pantawid Pasada Program, and the PUV Modernization Program, and to ramp up investments in infrastructure.

"We remain committed to enabling all Filipino families to live a comfortable, secure, and strongly rooted life in line with Ambisyon Natin 2040, the national long term vision," it said. —KBK, GMA News

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