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The survey gathered information on cash, credit and/or barter (in-kind trade) forms of expenditures at the household level. For 14 food items and 17 non-food items, interviewers asked respondents to estimate their expenditures using a 30 day recall period for common purchases, and a one year recall period for occasional expenditures (e.g. school fees, medical care). The expenditures were then converted to food, non-food and total household monthly expenditures and per capita monthly expenditures. Proportions of food and non-food expenditures in the total expenditures were examined at the aggregated level.

The survey is not a comprehensive expenditure assessment and absolute values of expenditure are only approximated for the expenditure categories examined. Nonetheless, the results provide a good basis for comparison between groups within the survey. A correlation analysis showsthat the estimated expenditures is positively correlated with estimated income (Pearson Correlation 0.39, p<0.001) and the total number of asset types owned (wealth index - Pearson Correlation 0.22, p<0.001).

Food and Non-food Expenditures

Monthly expenditures averaged 5,750PhP among the sampled households, with food accounting for an average of 53 percent of all the expenditures. Cash expenditures accounted for 91 percent of expenditures, while credit accounted for 9 percent. Barter was practically not used. Total expenditures varied across strata, with the lowest average expenditure found in Maguindanao (estimated at 3,000 PhP) and Sultan Kudarat (3,100 PhP). It is also in these two provinces that the share of food as a percentage of the total expenditures was highest (respectively 77% and 66%).

Figure 29: Food and non-food expenditures (PhP/month) by strata and settlement status

Figure 29 -  Food and non-food expenditures (PhP/month) by strata and settlement status

When disaggregated by settlement status, the findings showed important variations.Households that were displaced at the time of the survey had the lowest expenditures in absolute value (3,800 PhP/month) and the highest proportion of expenditures going to food purchases (71%). Across livelihood groups, the average household monthly expenditures were lowest among day laborers (4,000 PhP/month) and the natural resources exploiters (4,300 PhP/month). These two groups, along with fishers, reported the highest levels of food expenditures as a proportion of total expenditures (respectively 66%, 63% and 69%).

The asset wealth was found to be statistically associated with expenditures. The Pearson correlation between the total number of assets owned and the total expenditures was 0.26 (p<0.01) and 0.36 (p<0.01) with the total cash expenditures. Households in the poorest wealth quintile had the lowest average total expenditure (2,350 PhP/months) compared to 4,400 PhP among the households in the richest wealth quintile. The difference was even more important regarding non-food expenditures, with households in the poorest wealth quintile spending an average of 900 PhP/months on non-food items, over five times less than the non-food expenditures in the wealthiest asset group (5,000 PhP / months). Among the poorest wealth asset group, food represented 72 percent of the expenditures, compared to 46 percent among the wealthiest asset group.

Details on food expenditures show that most food expenditures go towards buying rice (24% of the total expenditures, or over 40% of the food expenditures at the time of the survey). Fish represent the second largest food expenditure (7% of the total expenditures). Among non-food expenditures, transportation was the heaviest financial burden, accounting for 10 percent of the total expenditures, followed by amenities such as electricity and water (4%), and services including education (4%) and health care (3%).

Figure 30: Food and non-food expenditures

Figure 30 -  Food and non-food expenditures

Among displaced households, transportation cost accounted for up to 18 percent of the non-food expenditures, putting a significant burden among households who already have little resources to purchase items other than food. Households that were never displaced and those whoresettled elsewhere spent respectively 25 percent and 34 percent of their expenditures on education. In comparison, education accounted for 7 percent of the expenditures among displaced households and 13 percent among households that returned home. Similar trends were found with regards to health care expenditures. Since the need for education and health care are unlikely to be different between groups, the results suggest that displaced households, and those returned home do not have adequate resources to afford basic care and education. This is consistent with the findings on access to education and health care.


As noted above, credit accounts on average for 9 percent of all expenditures. Credit was more frequently used to purchase food. It accounted for 13 percent of food expenditures, compared to 5 percent of non-food expenditures. The use of credit was especially high in Sultan Kudarat (20% of all expenditures), and North Cotabato (16%). In total, 79 percent of all households indicated borrowing money to purchase food at least occasionally. Over half the households (58%) said that they had borrowed money to purchase food at least twice in the last two months.

Among the overall surveyed population, the main source of credit for households was family and relatives (86%). A small proportion of households (10%) went to local moneylenders and only 3 percent accessed banks. Even among households in the wealthiest asset quintile, just 9 percent accessed banks. In North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, local lenders were more frequently reported as being sources of credit (identified by 22% and 19% of households, respectively, compared to an average of 10%).The use of credit was also more frequent in these two provinces compared to the rest of the survey area.

Displaced households used credit least frequently. This may reflect the scarcity of credit sources for displaced population: nearly one in three displaced household ranked their access to credit negatively (bad-very bad: 31%), compared to 19 percent of those returned home, 11 percent of those resettled elsewhere, and 12 percent of those never displaced. The sources of credit varied little by resettlement status. Access to credit was associated with the household’s wealth. Two thirds (69%) of the households in the poorest wealth quintile ranked their access to credit positively compared to 89 percent of those in the richest quintile, suggesting that those who are most likely to need credit have the least access: 10 percentof the households in the poorest wealth quintile indicated having no access to credit at all, even from family/relatives.

Access to Markets

Four out of five respondents ranked their access to markets positively (average to very good – 80%), with the lowest proportion found in Maguindanao. In that province, the market accessible to respondents was most frequently open only weekly (55%), while over 90 percent of the respondents in North Cotabato (90%), Sultan Kudarat (97%) and Cotabato City (98%) had access to a daily market. In Lanao del Sur, half the respondents (55%) had access to a daily market and 28 percent had access to a weekly market. Among the various livelihood groups, about two third of the natural resources exploiters (66%) and fishers (67%) ranked their access to market positively, compared to over 75 percent of the respondents in every other groups. Considering the settlement status, those displaced at the time of the survey or returned home were least likely to rank their access to markets positively (respectively 61% and 68%), compared to over 85 percent of the respondents that resettled elsewhere (89%) or were never displaced (86%).