2 out of 3 Filipino families able to save 25% of income–NSCB reportBy Ana G. Roa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Two in three Filipino families were “savers” between 2003 and 2009, keeping an average of P23 to P25 out of every P100 they earned, a recent National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) report showed.
The report also showed that female-headed households saved more than male-headed ones.
The percentage of “savers” or families with income higher than expenditure were 65.5 percent in 2003, 65.1 percent in 2006 and 65.9 percent in 2009.
The “non-savers” or families with savings less than or equal to zero accounted for 34.5 percent in 2003, 34.9 percent in 2006 and 34.1 percent in 2009.
The latest Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES), which was used as basis for the NSCB report was in 2009. The National Statistics Office will conduct the next FIES survey in July 2012 and January of 2013, with 2012 as reference year.
The report, written by former NSCB secretary general Romulo A. Virola, NSCB director Jessamyn O. Encarnacion and NSCB statistical coordination officer Mechelle M. Viernes, used data from the Family Income and Expenditures Survey, which is conducted by the National Statistics Office triennially.
The “savers” reported an average annual per capita savings of P10,693 in 2003, P11,982 in 2006 and P14,298 in 2009.
This would mean that the “savers” have the capacity to “save” at least one person out of food poverty, the NSCB said, citing the official annual per capita food threshold in 2003 at P7577, in 2006 at P9,257 and in 2009 at P11,686.
On the other hand, the “non-savers” reported a deficit of 14 to 15 percent of their income between 2003 and 2009 or for every P100 that they earn, they spend P114 to P115 pesos.
In terms of spending patterns, the biggest difference between “savers” and “non-savers” was on food expenditures, with the latter spending about 4 to 5 percent more.
Previous findings from poverty analysis showed that the poor spent proportionately more on food than the non-poor, the NSCB noted.
Education was one of the items being sacrificed by non-savers, the report found.
“This could mean that many of our kababayans could no longer afford to send our children to school, or that higher education is no longer the priority that it used to be among Pinoy families,” the report said.
Another worrisome finding was that “non-savers” spend relatively more on alcoholic beverages and tobacco than the “savers,” NSCB noted.
In current prices, the total income of all families in the country was P2.4 trillion in 2003, P3 trillion in 2006 and P3.8 trillion in 2009 while total expenditures amounted to P2 trillion in 2003, P2.6 trillion in 2006 and P3.2 trillion in 2009.
This resulted in the share of total savings to total income of 16.4 percent in 2003 to 14.8 percent in 2006 and 14.9 percent in 2009.
Removing the impact of price increases overtime, real per capita annual savings across all families nationwide went down from P5,261 in 2003 to P4,667 in 2006 and P4,957 in 2009.
By geographic location, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) had the highest savings ratio in 2009 at 0.23 followed by Cagayan Valley at 0.21 and Central Visayas at 0.20.
The regions with the lowest savings ratio in 2009 were Western Visayas (0.12), Bicol Region (0.14) and National Capital Region (0.15).
Among the “non-savers” in the regions, the highest deficit ratios in 2009 were observed in CAR (0.21) Socsksargen (0.18) and Cagayan Valley (0.17).
“CAR and Region II appear to exhibit extreme behavior…they are home to families who are the highest savers as well as the most lavish spenders,” the NSCB said.
Among savers between 2003 and 2009, the savings ratio of matriarchal or female-headed households was consistently higher than the patriarchal or male-headed ones.
Matriarchal households that were “savers” spent relatively less on food, non-durable furnishing, clothing and footwear compared to the patriarchal households. Patriarchal households that were “savers” spent relatively less on recreation, special family occasions, gifts and contributions, NSCB said.
Among non-savers, the income deficit of matriarchal households was consistently less than the patriarchal households.
Matriarchal households that were “non-savers” spent relatively more on personal care and effects compared to their male-headed counterparts, while patriarchal households that were “non-savers” spent relatively more on alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and durable furnishing.
The savings ratios of “savers” among households whose heads were single were practically the same as those of “savers” with married household heads.
“Clearly, the challenge for those of us not on the Forbes List is how to spend our money more wisely…less on non-basic expenditures so that we will have more for essentials, like education and health,” the NSCB said.
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