“Get real!” – fishers group to Pernia on his “no-frills” budget
Manila, Philippines — As National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Chief Ernesto Pernia claimed that a family of five could survive a monthly food budget of P7,528, the fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) pressed him to “get real” or accept the fact that it is not feasible.
“Why are we being ruled by these neoliberal bureaucrats who could not even live with facts? Instead of sincerely working for poverty alleviation, they deny even the impoverished state of the people,” Pamalakaya National Chairperson and former Anakpawis lawmaker Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.
Pernia’s claimed amount would mean an average meal worth P81 is adequate for a family of five.
“Amid bragged background on economics, all we get are tale-telling. He should watch himself as he could be perceived as living in a fantasy and detached in reality,” the fisherfolk leader slammed.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier claimed that poverty incidence fell to 12.1% based on the monthly poverty threshold for a family of five of P10,727.
“The earlier fantasy that this government peddled was that a person with P80 on his pocket or her purse is not poor. There is no doubt that we have government officials who either see the world in a different dimension or they are deliberately deceiving the people,” he elaborated.
He urged the people to take on this issue of government mass deception.
“This government attempts to claim accomplishment by downgrading the benchmark of poverty and disqualifyng the obviously poor. This is plain manipulation by the numbers,” he ended. ###