Sep 11, 2012

Health Issue: How much do families in the Philippines spend on contraceptives?

The Reproductive Health (RH) Bill is such a big issue in the Philippines today. As of publication time, the Senate is still in a hot debate whether to pass this bill or not. Meanwhile, people may be wondering just how much the poor can save if the government will be providing free contraceptives to them.

If the spending reflected in the Family Income and Expenditure Survey is indeed reflective of the total amount they need, we can have an estimate of how much the government will likely spend.

The table below shows the average spending of families based on income grouping. I came up with the income groups by sorting all families based on their per capita income (total family income divided by the total number of members in the family). The poorest group spent in 2009 around P167 ($3.50)on the average while the richest group spent P7,146 or $150. You can clearly see the wide gap in the ability to purchase contraceptives between the rich and the poor. Meanwhile, the average Filipino family spent around P1,200 or $25 for the entire year.

Official data on poverty shows that there were 3.855 million poor families in 2009, or 20.9% of all families in the country. If we multiply this with the average spending of those in the poorest 20% (adding the poorest and 2nd poorest will give us the 20% poorest families), the product will give us an estimate of the possible government spending on the contraceptives alone. The result gives a range of P643 to P867 million.

If the RH will be implemented, the government will spend a total amount of 8 billion pesos annually ( This budget includes the following expenditures:

Support maternal and child health 167 million
Improve health facilities  5.08 billion
Construction of maternity and birthing clinics  122.86 million
Purchase of family planning supplies and other  300 million

Sources: FIES 2009 of the National Statistics Office,
The tabulation is my personal estimation based on the Public Use File of 2009 FIES, for the official data, please check with the NSO.

Related Posts:
Spending on Food
Spending on Electricity
Other Health Issues posts in this blog

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