By Genalyn Kabiling
BEIJING – Much more will be accomplished with a “workaholic and compassionate” President Duterte, Malacañang said in welcoming the reported drop in hunger incidence in the country.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo has attributed the survey results on hunger incidence to the President’s efforts in addressing soaring prices and efficiently delivering basic services.
“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% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the March 2019 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. This is the second consecutive quarter where there has been a decrease in the national hunger incidence,” he 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 fruits and now being felt by our countrymen,” he said.
He said while many Filipino families remain in poverty and continue to experience hunger, the President works “tirelessly” in improving the plight of Filipinos.
“Indeed, much have 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 PRRD’s term,” he added.
The SWS survey found 9.5 percent or an estimated 2.3 million households experienced involuntary hunger in the first quarter of 2019. It was lower than the 10.5 percent or 2.4 million families recorded in the last quarter of 2018.
Hunger incidence in Metro Manila also decreased to 11.7 percent last month, from 18.3 percent last December 2018.
Panelo said the President’s “incomparable political will and decisive leadership” have resulted in pro-poor social amelioration programs.
The projects include free tuition in state colleges and universities, free irrigation for farmers, universal health care for all Filipinos, free medicine for indigent Filipinos, institutionalized free school feeding program for public school children, salary increases of police, firemen, military and jail personnel and teachers, higher pension for seniors and war veterans, according to Panelo.