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One million less hungry families during last quarter 2012

Social interventions on poverty alleviation working

Gulf News

Manila: The presidential palace trumpeted findings of a local pollster saying that there were one million less Filipinos experiencing voluntary hunger in the last quarter 2012.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the Fourth Quarter 2012 Social Weather Stations (SWS) Survey showed that number of families who experienced hunger in December 2012 dropped to 16.3 per cent from 21 per cent in August 2012.

“This translates to one million fewer families who have experienced involuntary hunger in the fourth quarter of 2012,” Valte said.

The Fourth Quarter 2012 Social Weather Survey findings on family’s experience of hunger were published in the Philippines-based business broadsheet, BusinessWorld.

According to Valte, the government’s success on addressing hunger can be credited for its implementation of anti-poverty measures.

“Through social interventions such as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme which puts a premium on purchasing food for family beneficiaries and supplemental feeding programmes of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, government continues to expand and enhance efforts to uplift living conditions for our countrymen,” Valte stressed.

Implemented in 2008 during the term of President Gloria Arroyo, the CCT was implemented based on recommendations of the World Bank with a view to provide a more equitable distribution of benefits of economic development.

The measure, which targets the “poorest among poor” of Filipinos, was continued under the incumbent administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

According to the poll, which was conducted last December 8, to 11, 2012, some 3.3 million Filipinos claimed to have experienced having nothing to eat at least once in the last three months.

The previous poll conducted in August 2012 said 21 per cent or 4.3 million households experienced having nothing to eat at least once in the last three months.

The SWS December 2012 survey was taken from interviews with 1,200 adults statistically representative adults in the islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“The SWS survey questions about the family’s experience of hunger are directed to the household head. These items are non-commissioned, and are always included on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service, with first printing rights assigned to BusinessWorld,” said SWS.

The survey question on Hunger is as follows: “In the last three months, did it happen even once that your family experienced hunger and not have anything to eat? “Did it happen once, twice, a few times or always?

Moderate Hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “Only Once” or “A Few Times” in the last three months, while Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the last three months.