The Perceived Impacts Of Alternative Food Source* (“Pagpag”) On Selected Families Of An Urban Poor Community In The Philippines

INTRODUCTION

Food discarded by different restaurants and fast food chains have become more socially acceptable as alternative food source by urban poor communities in Metro Manila. The extreme poverty evident in the Philippines has pushed these communities to cope up through alternative means. Food insecurity is still a major issue that stems from the extreme poverty present in the country. In order for these families to cope up with their harsh living conditions, they buy unsanitary scavenged chicken pieces that have been cooked again and wrapped in plastic bags. Locally, it is called “pagpag” (the act of dusting or shaking off left over food pieces), and it has been posing a threat to the urban-poor community‟s overall health and nutritional status.
Based on the data provided by the World Bank, almost 25.2% of Filipinos fell under the poverty threshold in 2012. (http://data.worldbank.org/country/philippines). More than 48 million of the population is living on less than $2 a day, to whichfood accounts for over 50 percent of the household expenditures (Pulse Asia, 2005). This kind of living condition explains why a survey conducted in 2005 claimed that 13.4 % of Filipinos are experiencing hunger, marking it to be “the highest ever hunger incidence in 20 years” (Social Weather Stations Survey, ___). (full download)