Filipinos spend a third of budget for food: Study

The study also found that utilities, transportation, and food totaled 49 per cent of the expenditure share of Filipino homes in 2018.

John Eric Mendoza

John Eric Mendoza

Philippine Daily Inquirer


Vegetables from Benguet province are sold in the Baguio City Public Market. This photo was taken on March 28, 2022. (File photo by ALLAN MACATUNO / Inquirer Northern Luzon)

August 24, 2022

MANILA — Filipinos spend about half of their income on utilities, transportation, and food — the last one taking up a third of their budget, according to the results of a study released on Tuesday.

In a statement, data analytics group Kantar said this was the result of its study on the spending habits of 2,000 Filipino respondents from 2018 to 2022.

Kantar said utilities, transportation, and food totaled 49 percent of the expenditure share of Filipino homes in 2018.

This increased to 57 percent in 2020 during the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then it dipped to 46 percent in 2022 when the pandemic restrictions loosened, resuming much of the economic activity.

In 2018, Filipinos spent almost a third of their budget on fresh and packaged food.

This went up to 37 percent at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and then decreased to 31 percent in 2022.

“This is because Filipinos across all socioeconomic classes have started to eat out again with the loosening of the quarantine restrictions,” Kantar said.

Recently, the Philippine Statistics Authority said the food threshold for a family of five in 2021 was P8,379. This means that the government won’t classify a Filipino household as “food poor” if they spend more than P18.62 per meal.

PSA also reported that food-poor families in the country reached 1.04 million or 6.55 million individuals in 2021, higher than the 840,000 families or 5.54 million individuals recorded in 2018.

The poverty incidence in the Philippines rose to 18.1 percent in 2021 equivalent to 19.99 million poor Filipinos, compared to 16.7 percent or 17.67 million recorded in 2018.

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