3.4 million families hungry — survey

MANILA, Philippines – The number of Filipino families who claimed they have experienced hunger due to lack of anything to eat in the past three months soar to 3.4 million households, up by 400,000 families from the previous survey, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said Tuesday.

But Malacañang said the implementation of the P21-billion Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program has nothing to do with the increase in the number of hungry families in the last three months.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the effectivity of the CCT program is not in any way related the latest SWS survey.

Lacierda said the CCT program is just starting so the critics cannot say that the CCT program is ineffective and resulted in more Filipinos going hungry.

The nationwide survey conducted last Nov. 27-30 by SWS-BusinessWorld showed that of the 1,200 respondents, 18.1 percent or an estimated 3.4 million households claimed they experienced hunger at least once in the last three months.

The measure of hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of anything to eat.

Survey questions about household hunger are directed to the household head, using the phrase “experienced hunger, and did not have anything to eat (nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain).”

SWS noted that the latest figure is higher by 400,000 families from the all-time low 3 million households (15.9 percent) last September, 2010.

It also pointed out that the latest number is four points higher than the 12-year average of 13.7 percent, but still far out from the record-high of 24 percent recorded in December, 2009.

Based on the same survey period, the number of Filipino families who considered themselves poor was at 49 percent or 9.2 million families.

SWS explained that the latest poverty incidence has barely changed from the figure last September, 2010 at 48 percent.

“The rise in overall hunger was due to a two-point increase in moderate hunger or those who experienced it only once or a few times in the last three months,” the pollster pointed out.

It said moderate hunger increased to 15 percent or an estimated 2.8 million families.

Those who claimed they experienced “severe” hunger or those who experienced it “often” or “always” remained at 3.1 percent or an estimated 588,000 households.

The survey results noted that overall hunger rose in all areas except in the Visayas where it stayed at 15.3 percent.

Overall hunger in the rest of Luzon was recorded at 18.3 percent, followed by Mindanao at 18 percent, and Metro Manila at 21.7 percent.

SWS said moderate hunger in all geographical areas increased; 17.7 percent Metro Manila, 16 percent in Mindanao, 14.7 percent in the rest of Luzon, and 12.7 percent in the Visayas.

Severe hunger increased by only a point in the rest of Luzon with 3.7 percent, but decreased in Mindanao with 2.0 percent, the Visayas at 2.7 percent, and 4.0 percent in Metro Manila.

On poverty, the number of Filipinos who considered themselves are poor has decreased in most areas, except in the rest of Luzon, which recorded an increase of 11 points to 51 percent.

Self-rated poverty declined in Mindanao (from 53 to 44 percent), Visayas (from 61 to 53 percent), and Metro Manila (from 49 to 44 percent).

SWS pointed out that self-rated poverty threshold, or the monthly budget poor households say they need in order not to consider themselves poor in general, stayed sluggish despite considerable inflation, which is an indication of belt-tightening.

SWS cited that as of November 2010 the median poverty thresholds for poor households were P15,000 in Metro Manila, P9,000 in the rest of Luzon, P8,000 in the Visayas and P5,000 in Mindanao.

However, the median food-poverty threshold reached its new high of P9,000 in Metro Manila, higher than the previous P8,000 threshold.

It was at P4,000 for both the rest of Luzon and the Visayas, and at P3,000 in Mindanao.

SWS explained that in Metro Manila, the median poverty threshold of P15,000 was barely above the P10,000 in 2000 even though the Consumer Price Index (CPI)had risen by over 60 percent.

It said the P15,000 is equivalent to only P9,096 in terms of 2000 purchasing power and is a throwback to living standards 15 years ago.

It added that households had tightened their budgets by P1,490, the difference between the November, 2010 median poverty threshold of P15,000 and the P16,490 equivalent (using the CPI of 164.9) of the 2010 threshold.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila’s median food poverty threshold of P9,000 is equivalent to only P5,729 in terms of 2000 purchasing power.

It noted that if one would subtract the P9,000 from the CPI-adjusted equivalent of P9,426 of December, 2000’s P6,000, this translates to a belt-tightening of P426. ).[source]


Post a Comment