About 20 percent or one out of five Filipinos comprising its 106 million live in extreme poverty, getting by on less than P100 a day. Many, including children, work long hours as street vendors or laborers to feed themselves. Hunger is more rampant in the agriculture and fishing sectors where 70 percent of workers are poor.
Ranked 9 of countries with the most number of children, more than 20% of them are said to be underweight. Young infants are also at high risk of malnutrition. Most of these children are found in war-torn areas of Mindanao. Government and private organizations have been conducting feeding programs and medical missions in the region, reaching remote barangays.
In the first semester of 2018, a family of five needed no less than PhP 7,337, on average, to meet the family’s basic food needs for a month. This amount is the food threshold. On the other hand, no less than PhP 10,481, on average, was needed to meet both basic food and non-food needs of a family of five in a month. This amount is the poverty threshold. These are 10.9 percent higher than the food and poverty thresholds from the first semester of 20151.
Food threshold is the minimum income required to meet the basic food needs, satisfying the nutritional requirements set by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) to ensure that one remains economically and socially productive. On the other hand, poverty threshold is the minimum income required to meet the basic food and non-food needs such as clothing, fuel, light and water, housing, rental of occupied dwelling units, transportation and communication, health and education expenses, non-durable furnishing, household operations and personal care and effects.