Neda execs dared to live on P10K/mo

How can a Filipino family of five make ends meet with a P10,000 monthly budget?

Netizens on Thursday took to social media to vent their ire on National Economic Development Authority (Neda) officials whom they challenged to live on a “hypothetical” P10,000 monthly budget for a family of five.

Noel Pascual (@noelvpascual) posted a photo of a piece of what looked like a green pea served on a plate with fork and knife. The picture was accompanied with the words “Neda-approved dinner for the family.”

Andrei Ronatay (@RAJDiation) wondered which family Neda was referring to.

“Family of 5 can survive with P10,000 budget per month, according to Neda. Family po ng ano ito Neda?” a. Chicken b.  Grasshopper c. Miming d. Dog e. Both A and A.”

“Noodles, lugaw, toyo, salt every day … maybe possible,” said Juan Juan (@Aso_ni_Juan).

Officials should take lead

Neda executives should take the lead by trying to survive on such meager income to determine if it’s really feasible, according to several netizens.

“Neda get your family to survive on only P10,000 a month challenge,” said Arvin Bartolomeme (@arvinpls).

Neda chief’s salary

Workers have challenged Socioeconomic Planning Secrtary Ernesto Pernia, also Neda director general, to subject his family to a strict budget of P10,000.

Pernia receives a monthly salary of P198,168 effective Jan. 1. He declared a net worth of P109 million as of December 2017.

Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of Neda receives a monthly salary of P143,534.

It was Edillon who gave the hypothetical monthly budget of P10,000 to illustrate how it would be affected by last month’s inflation rate of 4.6 percent.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes asked Neda where in the Philippines could a family of five survive with a monthly budget of only a P10,000.

“According to Neda, a family of 5 can live on P10,000/month: P3,834 – food (P25.56/head/day); P1,288 – house rent; P2,204 – water, electricity and the rest for transportation, health, education, etc. Ah, san po sa Pilipinas ito?” Reyes said on his Twitter (@natoreyes).

Even former presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte (@Abi_Valte) was not amused.

“Previously, Neda talked about a vision and aspiration: ideally a family of 4 needs 120k a month to live comfortably. Anong nangyari?” Valte said.

A cost of living survey by labor group Partido Manggagawa showed that a family of five in Metro Manila would need P1,300 daily or P39,000 monthly to live decently as of May.

With dignity

But if you ask an official of Caritas Manila, a family of five needs at least P20,000 a month.

“It must be P20,000 monthly or P250 per day for food for a family of five,” said Fr. Anton Pascual, Caritas Manila executive director, the social action arm of the Archdiocese of Manila.

“We respect Neda …  The government is minimalist. We are balanced, idealist and realist and living with dignity,” Pascual said.

A P20,000 per month income is what a family should earn to escape poverty, Pascual said.

‘Decent living’

“That’s decent living,” he said. “Unfortunately, 90 percent of working Filipinos are earning less than P20,000 monthly.”

Sen. Grace Poe said a family of five could live on P10,000 a month in a “Survivor”-like reality show, where contestants are left on a remote island to fend for themselves with little resources.

“Government officials who would cling to their faulty figure can perhaps prove their thesis by staging a reality show a la “Survivor,” where they would live on a budget of P10,000 a month,” Poe said in a statement. —REPORTS FROM TINA G. SANTOS AND LEILA B. SALAVERRIA

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