Are Ilocanos really 'kuripot'?

Posted at 07/31/2012 12:49 PM | Updated as of 07/31/2012 5:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ilocanos have long been stereotyped as being "kuripot" or stingy with money. But data from the National Statistical Coordination Board shows that Ilocanos are not as thrifty as everyone thinks they are.

NSCB director-general Romulo Virola said Region I (Ilocos Region) does not have the highest savings ratio in the Philippines. The region only ranks 9th with its savings to income ratio of 0.179 in 2009.

Virola noted people in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region II (Cagayan Valley) and Region VII (Central Visayas) had better savings rate than the Ilocanos, based on the Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES) in 2009.

"It may not surprise us that during the same year, these three regions were not among the poorest regions of the country. In terms of poverty incidence among families, CAR is ranked 5th least poor; Region II is the 4th least poor; and Region VII is the 11th least poor (or 7th poorest)," Virola said.

On the other hand, residents in Region VI (Western Visayas), Region V (Bicol Region), and National Capital Region had the lowest savings rate.

While residents in CAR and Cagayan Valley were the biggest savers, they were also the biggest spenders.

The NSCB said the highest deficit ratios in 2009 were seen in CAR, Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) and Region II (Cagayan Valley).

"CAR and Region II appear to exhibit extreme behavior. They are home to families who are the highest savers as well as the most lavish spenders," Virola noted.

Ilocanos, on the other hand, were 9th in terms of the ratio of income deficit to total income with 0.152.

Overall, two out of every three Filipino families were able to save in 2009 (65.9%). "The Pinoy savers saved on the average P23 to P25 out of every P100 they earned. Sila ang mga tunay na wais," Virola noted.

However, Filipino non-savers saw their income defiict, on the average, to be between 14-15% of their income between 2003 and 2009.

"Or for every PhP 100 that they earn, they are spending P 114-115. Saan na nila kukunin ang kulang? No wonder there is a proliferation of credit card agents in malls, supermarkets, and gasoline stations! Let us just hope our kababayans will realize that borrowing from '5-6' operators can only sink us deeper into poverty," Virola said.

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