They produce food, but are food-poor


FILIPINOS producing the country’s food are among those who could not afford to eat, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Based on the 2021 poverty statistics, the PSA said food-poor Filipinos, in terms of magnitude, comprised those living in rural areas with 13.673 million; children, 10.463 million; and women, 9.986 million.

In terms of incidence, the subsistence incidence was the highest among fisherfolks at 10.8 percent; farmers, 10.7 percent; and children, 9.4 percent.

“The fisherfolks sector remained to have the highest subsistence incidence of 10.8 percent,” PSA said. “This indicates that around one in every 10 fishermen belongs to a family that is food-poor or a family with income that is not sufficient to buy its minimum basic food needs.”

Other sectors where there were a lot of food-poor Filipinos were urban residents with 1.874 million; and the youth, with 1.578 million who could not afford their basic food needs.

The basic sectors with the least number of food-poor Filipinos were Persons aged 15 years and above with disability at 86,000; fisherfolk, 122,000; and Senior citizens, 280,000.

In terms of incidence, sectors that made up the top 5 in terms of subsistence incidence were rural residents at 9 percent and the self-employed and unpaid family workers, at 6.4 percent.

The three basic sectors with the lowest subsistence incidence, meanwhile, were migrant and formal sector workers with a food poverty incidence rate of 2.6 percent; senior citizens, 2.8 percent; and urban residents, 3.3 percent.

Meanwhile, in terms of income poverty or those who lived below the official poverty thresholds compared to the other basic sectors of the population, Fisherfolks also saw the highest poverty incidence at 30.6 percent.

This was followed by Farmers with a poverty incidence of 30 percent; Children, 26.4 percent; and Individuals residing in rural areas, 25.7 percent.

“Fisherfolks, farmers, children, and individuals residing in rural areas remained the poorest sectors in terms of poverty incidence in 2021,” PSA said. “These sectors also registered the highest poverty incidences in 2015 and 2018.”

The data also showed other sectors included self-employed and unpaid family workers with a poverty rate of 18.7 percent and women at 18.4 percent.

“Comparing the 2021 poverty incidences among the basic sectors with the estimates in 2018, all the sectors exhibited significant changes, except for the self-employed and unpaid family workers,” the PSA said.

“It was also noted that all sectors showed an increase in poverty incidence following the trend of the official poverty estimate at the national level, except for farmers, which indicated a significant reduction in poverty incidence of -1.6 percentage points from 2018,” it explained.

The data showed the least poor sectors in 2021 were migrant and formal sector workers with a poverty incidence rate of 10.2 percent; senior citizens, 10.3 percent; and urban residents, 11.6 percent.

The PSA noted that these sectors also had the lowest poverty incidences in 2015 and 2018.