What 'simple, comfortable' Filipino life looks like, according to NEDA

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2016 05:57 PM

NEDA: A Filipino family of four needs a monthly gross income of P120,000 to live simply and comfortably. Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

A Filipino family of four must earn a gross monthly income of P120,000 to attain a "simple and comfortable" life these days, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

The agency defined "simple and comfortable life" as earning enough money for day-to-day needs, having the capability to send children to college, owning a medium sized home and a car, and being able to take occasional trips around the country.

A survey conducted by NEDA showed that a huge majority of Filipinos (79.2%) aspire to live simply and comfortably, while another smaller segment wants an affluent life (16.9%), and a very small portion aspires for the life of the rich (3.9%).

The same survey however showed that more than a third of the respondents have no job security, while 12.3% have no job at all. Some 90% of the respondents plan to have a business in the future, but capital is seen as the most difficult barrier.

It also showed that confidence in achieving the desired goals is lower among the poor, with 48.5% of those who want a comfortable life, indicating they are not fully confident they can reach their goals.

Respondents identified unexpected expenses, illness, and loans as the biggest hindrances to saving money; while insufficient income, illness and loss of interest are the constraints to education.

For majority of Filipinos, hunger, local employment, and poverty are the primary economic issues that the government should address.

They aspire for a government that can eradicate corruption, fair in enforcing the law and quick in responding to complaints.

These are some of the highlights of the long term vision for the Philippines which NEDA initiated, dubbed AmBisyon Natin 2040.

NEDA Director General Emmanuel Esguerra says AmBisyon Natin 2040 is a vision, not a plan, founded on people's collective aspirations.

It aims to guide the next four administrations in planning for the country's development.

He says reducing poverty and achieving inclusive growth takes more than six years.

NEDA’s study shows that to eradicate poverty by 2040, the Philippines has to triple its per capita income to about $11,000 or over P500,000 in 25 years.

To attain this, governments should implement reforms in fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policies.

Reforms include a comprehensive tax program, financial inclusion, and policies that promote competition, reduce cost of doing business, ensure consumer protection, and ensure justice, peace and security.

Esguerra says discussions on AmBisyon 2040 with the incoming administration Rodrigo Duterte have already started.