• Most Filipinos short of cash in past year – poll

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    MAJORITY of Filipino adults said they experienced financial shortage in the past 12 months because of the rising prices of commodities, a private survey showed.

    In a press briefing held on Thursday, a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations in partnership with Sun Life of Canada showed that nine out of 10 Filipino adults experienced financial shortage over the past year.

    The survey was conducted with the First Quarter Social Weather Survey from March 27 to 30 using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults in Metro Manila, the balance of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

    The respondents noted that their top expenses were household needs, school fees, medical bills, and loan payments, the survey said.

    Of the 1,200 surveyed, 74 percent said they experienced shortage in household expenses, 41 percent were short of money for school expenses, 25 percent lacked money for medical treatment and another 25 percent was short of funds for loan payments.

    The survey also said that seven out of 10 adults pointed to the rising process of commodities as the reason behind the shortage they experienced in their budget, while four in 10 said it was because they were earning less, and three in 10 cited unexpected expenses.

    Asked about the steps they took or will take to address the financial shortage, seven in 10 Filipino adults said that they controlled or will control their spending, while four in 10 Filipinos have resorted or will resort to looking for additional sources of income.

    Other respondents said they addressed or plan to address this problem by borrowing from relatives, friends/neighbors, or money lenders, or selling or mortgaging properties, the survey said.

    Sun Life said that the survey is part of its continued efforts to further understand the Filipinos’ attitude toward personal finance.

    “The price increase and unexpected expenses definitely have an effect on finances, but these can be countered by proper financial planning,” Sun Life chief marketing officer Mylene Lopa said.

    Lopa said that being more mindful of their spending is a good practice but it would also be good to have an emergency fund that they can dip into when emergencies come.

    “This emergency fund can be in the form of savings or an insurance policy that provides protection for unseen events. It also helps to consult people or attend seminar s to learn about proper financial planning, as well as the different financial solutions that can be used to address their various needs.”

    Lopa also recommended investing, which none of the respondents mentioned as a strategy to counter financial shortage.

    “While more Filipinos are warming up to the idea of investing, it appears that there is still a huge number that is not considering this option, even though anyone can actually begin investing for as low as P5,000 these days,” she said.

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