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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hunger - One in five, or 3.8 million Filipino families

SWS: Hunger hits record high, afflicts 3.8M Pinoy families

Hunger hit a new record peak nationwide as one in five, or 3.8 million Filipino families, had experienced having nothing to eat in September 2007. This was the result of the latest survey of the creditable pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS), where the national percentage of families having experienced nothing to eat rose to a high of 21.5 percent.

SWS, which published on Monday the results on BusinessWorld (, said this was a “dramatic" reversal of gains in June where hunger fell to 14.7% from 19% in February 2007 and November 2006. It added the 21.5% was almost 10 points above the 11.8% average for the 38 hunger surveys it had conducted quarterly starting mid-1998. This was despite government’s implementation of anti-hunger programs like the food-for-school program and the Gulayan ng Bayan to encourage backyard farming.

Earlier, President Arroyo claimed she herself experienced hunger, but was told that the hunger in the SWS surveys refer to involuntary hunger.

The highest rise involved moderate hunger, referring to those who experienced it “only once" or “a few times." It rose to a record 17.4% in September from 12.5% in June. Counted in this category were those who did not state their frequency of hunger. Severe hunger, meaning it was experienced “often" or “always," rose to 4.1% from 2.2% in June. However, it remained below the record of 6% notched in March 2001.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Filipinos feel their lives are worse now than 3 years ago, survey says

MANILA (AP) 04/12 8:10:27 PM - The number of Filipinos who feel they are worse off now than they were three years ago is rising, despite the government's claims that the economy has improved, a survey showed Thursday.

The April 3-5 survey by independent pollster Pulse Asia showed 54 percent of respondents claimed they are worse off now than they were three years ago, up from 46 percent in April 2004.

"It appears that the reported gains from the economic reforms put in place by the Arroyo administration are not yet being felt by most Filipinos," Pulse Asia said.

Only 11 percent of the 1,800 adults surveyed said their quality of life is better, down from 16 percent three years ago. The number of people who felt the quality of their lives remained the same from three years ago also slid to 35 percent from 38 percent in 2004, Pulse Asia said. The survey, which comes ahead of May's midterm elections, had a 2.3 percentage points error margin.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A fish now or how to fish?

DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo ChancoThe Philippine Star 03/28/2007

A Social Weather Stations survey earlier revealed that at least one in five Filipino households or a total of 3.4 million households experienced starvation at least once in the past three months. Hunger went up by three points in Metro Manila, from 17.7 percent in November last year to 20.7 percent in February 2007. It rose slightly in the rest of Luzon from 17.7 percent to 18.3 percent, and hardly changed in Mindanao, from 22.3 percent in the previous quarter to 22.7 percent. Hunger declined by nearly four points in Visayas, from 19 percent in November to 15.3 percent in February.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


By: Katherine Adraneda, PhilStar.Com

Manila – Twenty six million Filipinos can be considered poor, each subsisting on a meager budget of around P36 (around 72 cents) per day, mostly for food, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty-Philippines (GCAP-Philippines) said over the weekend.

GCAP-Philippines said that with such a measly amount for his day-to-day needs, a typical poor Filipino is on a “bad diet” and almost incapable of satisfying his other non-food needs like clothing and entertainment.

GCAP said government defines poor as “those who fall below the per capita povery threshold of P36 per person a day.”

This means a person needs to earn at least $13,113 (US$262.26) a year in order to live beyond the poverty threshold and be able to spend no less than P8,734 for “food needs” and P4,379 for “other basic needs.”

Over the weekend, GCAP-Philippines held “The 36-peso Challenge” to determine the acceptability of the per capita poverty threshold set by the government for each Filipino per day.

This reporter took part in the challenge, along with a single mother, a retiree, a housewife, and a college student. The “Challenge” only confirmed what had been held by many: P36 per day is not enough to satisfy even the most basic need of a Filipino.

“Definitely, we raise a resounding cry that ‘no, P36 is not enough’ … P36 will not lift the poor Filipinos out of their misery and help them live a life of dignity,” GCAP-Philippines said.

GCAP-Philippines said a 2001 study showed that over a third of Class E and over a tenth of Class D Filipinos had resorted to eating “surrogate ulam” and “new viands,” consisting of salt, soy sauce, bagoong (shrimp paste), pork lard, soft drinks or coffee because they couldn’t afford to buy vegetables, fish or meat.

Instant noodles, on the one hand, are now “being drowned” in water to provide full meal for many poor families. With scarce spending for food “there is a bleak future because of low nutrition levels,” GCAP said, adding that many Filipinos subsist on carbohydrate and calorie-heavy diets to keep hunger pangs at bay.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), according to GCAP, has expressed alarm over the country’s 30 percent child malnutrition rate which has persisted for over a decade.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Going a little hungry is healthy

DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo ChancoThe Philippine Star 11/06/2006

SWS reports that some 2.9 million Filipino families or 16.9 percent of a projected base of 17.4 million households experienced hunger in the past three months. That’s a real shame, not just for Ate Glue but for our society. If only the respondents were going hungry out of choice, rather than out of poverty, it wouldn’t be so bad. Latest reports from American health experts seem to indicate that going a little hungry is healthy, based on studies of laboratory mice, rhesus monkeys and even worms.

This is not to say that what is good for mice, monkeys and worms are necessarily good for humans. Nor would it be right to say that because the poor amongst us live like mice in crowded shantytowns or urban sidewalks, going a little hungry will also be good for their health. In fact, the Christian conscience in all of us who are overfed should be bothered by the results of this SWS survey.

According to SWS, there is an increase of more than 800,000 households experiencing severe hunger in September compared to June. Families who reported having gone hungry "often" or "always" went up by 4.6 percent in September from 3.4 percent in June. Those who experienced moderate hunger, or those who reported that they experienced hunger "only once" or "a few times" in the last three months, rose to 12.3 percent, or 2.1 million households, from 10.1 percent in the previous quarter.

If I were Ate Glue, I would say this hunger problem in our midst is not just a government concern. It should move everyone of us into action, or at the very least, eat less so that the money we can save from paying personal trainers and gym fees could be contributed to Caritas instead, for feeding the really hungry. I personally know that’s easier said than done. But it is one of those things we must try to do for our own good.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Survey: Hunger hits record high in the Philippines

Philippine Star
MANILA (AP) - The number of Filipinos who said they went hungry rose to a record high with nearly 17 percent of people surveyed saying they had nothing to eat at least once over a three-month period, a survey group said Friday.

Of the Filipino households queried, 16.7 percent reported experiencing hunger in the last quarter of 2005, the independent Social Weather Stations survey group said -- a record high since it began hunger surveys in mid-1998.

The survey also found those describing themselves as living in poverty rose to 57 percent from 49 percent in the previous quarter.

The SWS said the proportional figure, or an estimated 2.8 million families, surpassed the previous peak of 16.1 percent in March 2001. The proportion of people going hungry has been in the double-digits ever since the second quarter of 2004.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Forum for Family Planning and Development

From: GMA’s lowest rating: A wakeup call - BABE'S EYE VIEW By Babe Romualdez - The Philippine Star 06/05/2005

But our real problem lies in the fact that we have the worst fiscal situation ever since time immemorial because of the large government debt that as of February this year has already hit P4.08 trillion, a population that’s growing by leaps and bounds that could reach 160 million by 2030. As a matter of fact, at the Forum for Family Planning and Development which I attended the other day, it was disclosed that 11 million Filipinos are confirmed to be going hungry, 18 million are undernourished, and 25.4 million or about one third of the population live in extreme poverty and subsist on P34 per day.