Malacanang says SWS survey on self-rated hunger encouraging

July 2, 2011 1:39 am 

MANILA, July 1 — Malacanang welcomes the recent self-rated hunger survey results by the Social Weather Station (SWS), saying the numbers are encouraging and the government must sustain this momentum.

Fewer Filipinos experienced hunger in the last three months, according to SWS survey released on Friday.

“This is a significant plunge from the self-rated hunger rates reported in previous periods. Indeed, standing at 15.1 percent, the latest national figure for self-rated hunger is the lowest in four years,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement released Friday in Malacanang.

“We view these numbers as encouraging, reflecting, as they do, the perceptions and opinions of our countrymen at a particular period in time. Hunger is an indicator of poverty: and self-rated hunger is just one way to measure the incidence of poverty in our society,” he said.

Lacierda also said that the only way to have an enduring, meaningful effect on public perception was to have a tangible and lasting impact on actual poverty reduction, acknowledging that the government had to sustain its efforts to bring these numbers further down.

The conditional cash transfer (CCT), in particular, had components that should help address poverty in the society, he said. Early this month the government would enroll the two millionth beneficiary of the CCT and witness by the President himself.

Lacierda made verbal jabs to administration’s critics, noting however that what is important for the present government is to significantly reduce poverty by providing the people with more options to ensure a better future.

SWS’s June 3-6 survey shows that 15.1 percent or three million families experienced hunger at least once in the past three months. This indicates a 5.4-percent drop from March’s 20.5 percent or an estimated 4.1 million families.

The latest hunger rate is the lowest since June 2007 when the prevalence among households was at 14.7 percent.

Severe hunger rate on the other hand, or families who said they have nothing to eat often or always declined to two percent, its lowest level since 2003. SWS found that the total number of families suffering from severe hunger went down to 403,000 from 950,000 families in March.

Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma said the CCT program has started to take effect as evidenced by the recent SWS survey on self rated hunger.

“These figures clearly show the impact of our CCT in the lives of the poorest of the poor. We are confident that the CCT and our other programs aimed at reducing poverty in the next five years will succeed in ensuring that no more Filipino will be left behind in our journey towards prosperity for all envisioned in the “Pilipinas Natin.”

President Benigno Aquino III launched on Thursday the Pilipinas Natin program, a campaign aimed at bringing the country towards progress through partnership of the people and the government. (PNA)



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