Drop in hunger incidence shows gov't efforts starting to work, Palace says
Malacañang said on Thursday the drop in hunger incidence was an indication that the government's efforts in addressing high inflation has started to bear fruit.
Citing the first quarter Social Weather Stations survey, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said hunger incidence fell to a single-digit 9.5 percent.
According to SWS, the 9.5 percent, lower from 10.5 percent in December last year, was equivalent to an estimated 2.3 million families, who have experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.
"We are off to a good start," Panelo said, adding this was the second consecutive quarter where there has been a decrease in the national hunger incidence.
He pointed out that hunger incidence declined in Metro Manila by 6.6 percent to 11.7 percent in the first quarter from 18.3 percent last December 2018.
SWS said this is the first in four consecutive quarters that there was a decrease in Metro Manila’s hunger incidence, Panelo noted.
"These figures indicate that the President's (Rodrigo Duterte) sincere efforts in addressing soaring prices and running a bureaucracy that efficiently delivers basic services to the poor and marginalized are beginning to bear fruits and now being felt by our countrymen," said Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel.
While many Filipino families remain in poverty and continue to experience hunger, he said Duterte has been working to improve the socioeconomic status of millions of Filipinos "for them to lead a more comfortable, secure and prosperous life."
He cited some of the "pro-poor social amelioration programs" of the Duterte administration.
These include free tuition in state colleges and universities, free irrigation for farmers, universal health care for all Filipinos, free medicine for indigent Filipinos, institutionalized free school feeding program for public school children, salary increases of police, firemen, military and jail personnel and teachers, higher pension for seniors and war veterans, among many others.
The SWS survey was conducted from March 28-31 using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults nationwide, with sampling error margins of ±2.6% for national percentages. Celerina Monte/DMS