Most Filipinos Poorer in 2006 Compared to 2003

Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 2, February 10-16, 2008

The final results of the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey (2006 FIES) were released recently (January 11, 2008 ). A close look at the disclosed details reveals several significant facts which prove that the economic growth of the country as a whole is hardly trickling down to the poor and the lower middle class. The figures for 2006 average family income at 2003 prices tell the true story. Most of us were poorer in 2006 than in 2003.

Measuring income, expenditure and savings at 2003 prices instead of at 2006 prices takes into account inflation and the weakening of the purchasing power of money. One peso in Year 2006 buys less goods and services than one peso in 2003. Here are the hard facts from the 2006 FIES:

1. 2006 average family income at (2003) prices declined from P148,000 to P142,000.
2. 2006 average family expenditure at (2003 prices) slid from P124,000 to P121,000.
3. 2006 average family savings (at 2003 prices) slipped from P24,000 to P21,000.
4. At 2003 prices, 2006 average family incomes were down across the board (all deciles).
5. At 2003 prices, 2006 average family savings were down from the fourth decile to the tenth decile while the first and second deciles were in the same state of indebtedness they were at in 2003. The third decile were at break-even.
6. At 2006 prices, the average income of the poorest 10 percent (first decile) was only P32 ,000 but their expenses were P35 ,000 and so they are not just poor but also in debt by P3,000.
7. At 2006 prices, the lower middle income families (third, fourth and fifth deciles) were almost break-even. They had only P7,000 in savings which is about one month’s salary of a low-paid clerk.
8. Total annual family savings (at 2003 prices) dropped by 8 percent from P399 billion to P367 billion.
9. Total annual family income (at 2003 prices) rose by only 1.7 percent from P2.437 trillion to P2.478 trillion
10. Average incomes of some regions (at 2003 prices) declined significantly:
· For Metro Manila: down from P266,000 to P253,000;
· For the Ilocos: down from P124,000 to P115,000;
· For Calabarzon: down from P184,000 to P175,000;
· For MIMAROPA: down from P103,000 to P92,000;
· For Bicol: down from P109,000 to P104,000;
· For Davao (Region XI): down from P117,000 to P107,000;
· For ARMM: down from P83,000 to P70,000;
· For SOCCSKARGEN: down from P113,000 to P95,000

At 2006 prices, the poorest 30 percent of the population did earn more income: up from P206 billion to P258 billion. But they spent more than what they earned: up from P212 billion to P266 billion which means that their savings declined from negative P6 billion to negative P9 billion.

In contrast, the richest Filipinos really got much richer. The tenth decile of the population saw their total incomes rise by 22 percent from P884 billion to P1.082 trillion and their total savings rose by 13 percent from P249 billion to P282 billion.

The upper middle class (sixth to eight decile) are pretty much in the same financial state they were at in 2003, but they are a bit poorer. Their combined average family savings (at 2006 prices) were at P43,000 in 2006 versus P45,000 in 2003.

These facts should place in proper perspective the Philippines’ GNP and GDP figures we now see as banner headlines on newspapers, television and the Internet.

The National Statistics Office did not release a detailed table of total and average incomes at 2003 prices by income decile. They did give out some charts in pdf format. Why? Not a pretty picture? The truth hurts? Posted by Bulatlat

Earl Victor L. Rosero
5 K-3rd Street, Kamuning, Quezon City

Link to the NSO 2006 FIES:

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2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. FIES are conducted every 3 years. 2006 Fies was published last 2008. 2 years after the data collection. so i guess the 2009 FIES will be released at least 2 years after the data collection, that's year 2011. 🙂

  2. Hi,

    Our latest FIES was 2006.

    When will we be able to issue latest?


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