More families suffering from hunger, says SWS


BY JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR

MORE Filipino families reported experiencing hunger during the second quarter of the year, a survey of the Social Weather Stations showed.

Malacañang officials said this was a result of increasing prices of fuel and food in the world market.

The SWS survey from June 27 to 30 showed that families experiencing hunger rose to 16.3 percent (about 2.9 million families) in the second quarter as against the 15.7 percent who claimed to have experienced involuntary hunger in the first quarter survey of March.

Families who said they experienced “severe” hunger, or those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the last three months, also rose to 4.2 percent (760,000 families) in June from 3.2 percent in March while those who claimed total hunger in the last three months rose by 0.6 points between March and June, or to 16.3 percent from 15.7 percent.

Those who experienced moderate hunger on “Only Once” or “A Few Times,” dropped to 12.1 percent in June from 12.5 percent in March.

Incidence of hunger was worse in the Visayas region, increasing 7.4 from 12.3 percent in March to 19.7 percent in June, followed by the National Capital Region (15.7 percent to 22 percent).

There was a slight improvement in the hunger incidence in Mindanao (18 percent in March and 17.7 percent in June), and in the rest of Luzon, or 16 percent in March and 12.3 percent in June.

Incidents of severe hunger in Mindanao and the rest of Luzon worsened from 2.7 percent and 3.7 percent in March respectively, to 4.3 percent and 4 percent in June.

Total Hunger was worse in Metro Manila with 22 percent (from 15.7 percent) followed by the Visayas with 19.7 percent (from 12.3 percent), Mindanao with 17.7 percent (18 percent) and the rest of Luzon with 12.3 percent (from 16 percent).

Families experiencing severe hunger was worse in Metro Manila with 6 percent (from 5.3 percent), followed by Mindanao with 4.3 percent (from 2.7 percent), the rest of Luzon with 4 percent (from 3.7 percent), and Visayas with 3.3 percent (from 1.3 percent).

Moderate hunger was also worse in the Visayas (16. 3 percent from 11 percent), followed by Metro Manila with (16 percent from 10.3 percent), Mindanao (13.3 percent from 15.3 percent) and the rest of Luzon, with 8.3 percent from 12.3 percent.

GLOBAL CRISES BLAMED

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the increases in hunger incidence especially in Metro Manila were influenced by the global crises on food and fuel.

Dureza said the slight improvement in other areas especially Mindanao, despite the global problem on food and the armed conflict in some parts of the island, “is very indicative of a positive result” from what government is doing to address challenges in Mindanao.

At the House, the rising hunger index prompted Manila Rep. Benny Abante to revive calls for the government to consider scrapping the value-added tax on oil and petroleum products.

He said even President Arroyo’s latest promise to distribute another P4 billion VAT windfall in various forms of dole-outs to the poor would hardly make a dent on the problem.

“Subsidies might address the problem for a day or two. It’s, at best, a fleeting relief to a long-term headache. This is why I am renewing the call to Malacañang to cancel or even just suspend the VAT on electricity and power. This will provide immediate and wider help to our poor countrymen,” Abante said.

He called on fellow lawmakers to support his bill proposing higher taxes on liquor and cigarettes to cover part of revenues that the government will lose from the cancellation or suspension of VAT.

‘TELL THE TRUTH’

Social Watch Philippines, the Philippine chapter of the international group Social Watch, called on Arroyo to start effectively managing the country’s finances instead of providing short-term solutions such as subsidies.

She can start by being truthful about the state of the Philippine economy and the plight of the Filipino people, said Leonor Briones, SWP lead convenor and former national treasurer.

“PGMA said that she fulfilled her promises in solving hunger and poverty by achieving 90 percent rice self-sufficiency from 2001-2007, 4,000 farm to market roads, and 146,117 new irrigation systems. Yet, data from National Statistics Coordinating Board reveal that 12.2 million Filipinos are food-poor and 27.6 million are below the poverty threshold,” Briones said.

“Moreover, the President said that she fulfilled her promise of creating 9 million jobs from 2001 to 2008. Yet, data from the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics show that unemployment rate is now at 8 percent with 2.9 million jobless people. A total of 168 million net jobs were lost since April last year,” she added. – With Peter Tabingo(Malaya)

One Response to “More families suffering from hunger, says SWS”

  1. "X☆" Says:

    “Need a Mask because of lie beginning of stealing.Hope no one throw me anyheavy which really shouting for help.!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: