Next admin must focus on food security, jobs: Popcom
MANILA — The Commission on Population on Development (Popcom) urged the next administration to focus on providing food security and jobs to poor Filipino families in order to alleviate the country's problem on hunger.
Popcom Undersecretary Antonio Perez III said the incoming government must base the minimum wage on the country's poverty threshold, which is at an average of P12,000.
The minimum wage in Metro Manila, for example, is at P570. This may still not be enough to feed a family of 5 on a daily basis, according to Perez.
"Ang gusto namin sana na gawin ang bagong pagtataya ang poverty threshold at ang tinatawag namin na living wage," said Perez on Teleradyo.
"If below P8,000 ang income ng isang pamilya na 5, you are growing hungry and how many families yan? 1.9 million as of 2021. Yun yung concern namin na yung minimum wage na kinikita ngayon for example sa NCR, is not enough to keep you above poverty," he added.
He urged the Marcos Jr. administration to prioritize food security and ensure that the number of hungry families "will not grow."
The next government must also provide jobs, education, and housing to families since these are their basic needs, he noted.
"I think it is important na magpag-uusapan ang kahalagahan ng agrikultura pero it should be agriculture towards food sufficiency or at least ma-alleviate yung hunger," said Perez.
"Those are findings na dapat bigyang atensyon talaga. Ang kagutuman ay isang major issue ng pamilyang Pilipino maliban sa mababang income when you are living below the poverty level or even below subsistence pa."
Social Weather Stations' (SWS) latest non-commissioned survey released in May showed that 43 percent of respondents rated themselves as poor, while 23 percent see themselves as not poor.
Acting Palace spokesperson Martin Andanar said government is still reviving the pandemic-battered economy by loosening COVID-19 restrictions in tourism and the education sector.
Despite this though, Andanar admitted that "much more needs to be done to lift Filipino families from their poor condition."