MALACAÑANG yesterday welcomed the new survey showing that fewer Filipinos had experienced hunger in the first quarter of 2019, saying it was an indication of the effectiveness of the government’s anti-poverty measures.
According to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in March, 9.5 percent or an estimated 2.3 million families said they experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.
The 9.5 percent hunger rate for the first quarter of 2019 is one point lower than the 10.5 percent hunger rate (estimated 2.4 million families) reported last year of the same period.
In Metro Manila, the hunger rate declined by 6.6 percent from 18.3 percent in December last year to 11.7 percent in March.
“We are off to a good start. The Palace is pleased to note that Filipino families who said they had experienced hunger dropped to a single-digit 9.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
“These figures indicate that the President’s sincere efforts in addressing soaring prices and running a bureaucracy that efficiently delivers basic services to the poor and marginalized are beginning to bear fruit and now being felt by our countrymen.”
Panelo said while many Filipino families remain in poverty and continue to experience hunger, President Rodrigo Duterte “has been working tirelessly in improving the socioeconomic status of millions of Filipinos for them to lead a more comfortable, secure and prosperous life.”
The Palace spokesman said Duterte’s “incomparable political will and decisive leadership” paved the way for policies such as salary increases for teachers, police and military personnel, free tuition in state colleges and universities, free irrigation for farmers, universal health care for all Filipinos and free medicine for indigent citizens.
“Indeed, much has been done in the first three years and with a workaholic and compassionate leader at the helm, much more would be accomplished in the remainder of President Duterte’s term,” he said.