By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is on the right track in implementing programs to curb hunger and poverty after a survey showed that fewer Filipino families felt hunger in the past three months, according to a Palace official.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has welcomed the drop in the national hunger rate, saying the administration intends to continue the programs, including the cash subsidy program and universal health care, to improve the plight of Filipinos.
“We see the drop in our national hunger rate as hard evidence that the government programs to address hunger and poverty are working,” Andanar said.
“For some the drop to 9.1 percent from the previous quarter’s 10 percent may seem nominal, that is just about 200,000 less families from June’s 2.5 million families, but to us this means that the steps concerned agencies are taking are in the right direction,” he said.
In a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted last September, 9.1 percent or an estimated 2.3 million families went hungry due to lack of food at least once in the third quarter. The latest figure was lower compared to 10 percent or 2.5 million families recorded in June 2019.
Recognizing that poverty and hunger are “linked,” Andanar said the government would sustain initiatives to address these concerns.
He cited that Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Free Education Act, and the Universal Health Care Act are among the programs aimed to reduce poverty in the country.
The government is also working to generate more jobs through programs like the Government Internship Program and JobStart, as well as focusing on sectors that can create more jobs, Andanar said.
He said the government has carried out programs to deal with food supply and costs. “The administration is prioritizing the agriculture and aquaculture sector through development programs,” he said.
The government has also strengthened the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) while pursued infrastructure development to “ensure that adequate and efficient farm-to-market linkages are made along with dams for water supply needed by farms,” Andanar said.