The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) over the weekend advised minimum wage earners in Eastern Visayas to limit the number of their children to two in order to stay out of poverty.
NSCB Regional Head for Region 8, Evangeline Paran, said that the current minimum wage in the cited region is only enough to sustain the basic needs of a family with two children.
Last year, the monthly poverty threshold is P7,491—more than the P6,760 minimum monthly pay of minimum wage earners.
“A minimum wage earner in the region can support a family of at most four members in first part of 2012, to be classified as non-poor,” Paran said.
She cited that a couple with three children should have P288 everyday to stay out of poverty.
The current minimum wage in the region is P260.
According to NSCB, the poor refers to individuals and families whose income falls below the official poverty threshold.
Besides food, classified as basic needs are clothing and footwear; fuel, light and water; housing maintenance and other minor repairs; rental or occupied dwelling units; medical care; education; transportation and communications; non-durable furnishing; and household operations and personal care and effects.
Poverty incidence among families in the region slightly increased from 36.2 percent in 2009 to 37.2 percent in 2012.
Those living in extreme poverty increased from 16.9 percent to 17.3 percent in the same period.
From the fifth poorest region in 2009, Eastern Visayas is the third poorest in 2012. Nearly half, or 45.4 percent of the people in the region are living in poverty in the first semester last year, a slight increase from 43.8 percent in 2009.
The region has 1.86 million workers with an employment rate of 94.8.