Tag Archives: Hunger

[In the news] ‘WALANG-WALA NA’ Poor Filipinos fear death from hunger more than coronavirus -RAPPLER.com

Rappler speaks with 6 residents from different poor communities. They tell the same story: President Rodrigo Duterte promised them food. But they have received too little to nothing at all.

If not by coronavirus, they believe death will come from hunger.

Two weeks have passed since President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon on lockdown or “enhanced community quarantine” to contain the explosion of novel coronavirus cases in the country.

This means people are not allowed to leave their homes unless for “essential reasons” – which, for the government means, purchasing food or working to keep medical care and the supply chain of goods going.

For residents of poor communities, where most people do not qualify for exemptions, the lockdown signified less to no income.

President Duterte assured them they would be given food through their barangays, municipalities, and their city local governments. He even asked for unprecedented special powers from Congress to make it happen.

Rappler spoke with 6 residents from different poor communities, and their accounts point to a president failing to keep his promise. Some of them – neglected by their local officials – are from urban poor communities who have received help barely enough for their families. This has forced them to look for food elsewhere: the church, non-governmental organizations – others have taken to the streets.

Some 21 residents from the urban poor community of Sitio San Roque in Quezon City walked out of their homes on Wednesday, April 1, demanding that they be given help. Using the government’s guidelines against mass gatherings, cops arrested them.

The simmering frustrations of the poor are one of the major considerations in a crucial question for the Duterte government in these critical times: how can the government save people from both hunger and COVID-19?

Until the government answers this question, millions of Filipinos will continue to face the risk of starvation if not the infectious disease itself.

Read complete story @www.rappler.com

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[Press Release] Communities bang pots and pans nationwide to condemn Kidapawan massacre Call for food and justice for all Filipino farmers -KALAMPAG

Communities bang pots and pans nationwide to condemn Kidapawan massacre
Call for food and justice for all Filipino farmers

Photo by Gorio Bituin FB

Photo by Gorio Bituin FB

QUEZON CITY, 8 April 2016 — “Kalampagin ang kalderong walang laman, Kalampagin ang inutil na pamahalaan! (Bang our empty pots, call the attention of this useless government!)”

This was the call of community organizations and activists at noontime today as they held a noise barrage in front of the Department of Agriculture to launch the new campaign called KALAMPAG (Kampanya Laban sa Pagkagutom, or Campaign Against Hunger). Similar actions were held in Cebu, Tacloban, Bacolod, Ozamis and Davao, among other areas.

In a statement [1], the KALAMPAG campaigners condemned the killing of farmers in Kidapawan, North Cotabato last April 1 and demanded the immediate suspension, investigation, and charging of all police officers and government officials involved in the violent dispersal.

“The administration had enough time, information and financial resources to address the El Niño crisis but it failed disastrously in protecting and ensuring our basic human rights, and ultimately, in saving the lives of our farmers. There is no acceptable excuse for this neglect and for this continuing callousness and gross neglect of responsibility on the part of President Aquino and his administration.” the statement read.

The campaigners called for the immediate distribution of food and aid to the farmers in Kidapawan. They also demanded the declaration of all 68 El Niño-affected provinces under a state of calamity and the release the calamity and standby quick-response funds of concerned agencies.

“A severe food and water crisis is fast spreading in Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines in the wake of what scientists say may be the most severe El Niño episode on record. Global warming and climate change has been generating not only super typhoons but also super El Niños,” they said in the statement.

“The Mindanao farmers and indigenous peoples’ communities would have been in a stronger position to weather the effects of El Niño if their watersheds and water systems had not been damaged. The provinces badly hit by El Niño to date—Bukidnon, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Davao del Sur—have one thing in common. Most of their watersheds are severely compromised due to unregulated expansion of agribusiness plantations, mining operations and coal-fired power plants,” they added.

They further demanded that the government implement comprehensive land reform, stop land grabs, and dismantle landlordism and usury that have burdened Filipino farmers for centuries, and that it stop the continued plunder and wanton destruction of ecosystems in the Philippines.

Among the movements and groups which formed the campaign are the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Ecological Justice Interfaith Movement, Alyansa Tigil Mina, SANLAKAS, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, Buhay na May Dignidad para sa Lahat (DIGNIDAD Alliance), Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Makabayan Pilipinas, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Network for Transformative Social Protection, Bulig Visayas, Koalisyon Pabahay ng Pilipinas, the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development and many others.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued a warning early last year that there would be 34 provinces affected by El Niño by March 2016 and 68 provinces by April. It is expected to peak between May and June or until the onset of the rainy season this year.

According to the latest PAGASA advisory issued today, most parts of Luzon and Visayas received near to above normal rainfall last February, while most parts of Mindanao experienced way below to below normal rainfall condition. The state weather bureau added that five provinces were affected by the dry spell during the same month while 18 provinces, mostly from Mindanao, experienced drought conditions.

Khevin Yu, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
khevinyu@gmail.com, +639175213356
Denise Fontanilla, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development
dmfontanilla@gmail.com, +639178514890

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[Resources] The Impact of Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption By Melba V. Tutor

The Impact of Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption
By Melba V. Tutor
University of the Philippines School of Economics;

Impacts of 4ps


Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides cash grants to poor households conditional on pre-determined investments in human capital. This study analyzed its impact on consumption using the 2011 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey. Average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) is estimated through propensity score matching methodology. Heterogeneous impacts are examined among the bottom 20% of income distribution.

The study finds that among the total sample, per capita total expenditures is not affected by the program. In per capita monthly terms, only carbohydrates and clothing significantly increased. As expenditure shares, education and clothing registered significant positive impact. No impact is observed on health spending, both in per capita terms and as a share of expenditure. The impact of Pantawid Pamilya on consumption is more pronounced among the poorest fifth of households.

Results show that households have responded to program conditionalities but there is very little room to improve consumption of other basic needs. The recent program modification of increasing education grants to older children and covering up to secondary school completion will help households sustain induced behavioral changes over time. Stronger impact on the poorest fifth of households underscores the need to improve the targeting mechanism to address leakage issues.

Read full article @ The Impact of Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption
By Melba V. Tutor [ Impacts of 4ps by Melba Tutor ]

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[Statement] Pagkain Sapat Dapat! STOP HUNGER NOW! -NFC

Pagkain Sapat Dapat! STOP HUNGER NOW!

Quezon City – On the occasion of World Food Day, 16 October 2014, the National Food Coalition, a broad organization of peasants, urban poor folks, women, and youth, calls upon the Philippine Congress, to pass immediately the zero-hunger bill — House Bill No. 3795 and Senate Bill No. 2137. The House Committee on Human Rights has already had its initial hearing on the bill, and has formed a Technical Working Group to further refine its provisions and the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food still has to call a hearing.


The National Food Coalition is fully aware and deeply concerned that the problem of hunger persists. The Social Weather Stations hunger survey among Filipino families in the second quarter of 2014 shows that 16.3% or about 3.6 million families have experienced involuntary hunger at least once during the period. About 13.5% of families have experienced moderate hunger, while 2.8% experienced severe hunger.

The state of hunger or the lack of proper nutrition is more graphically shown in the effects it has on children. The National Nutrition Survey of 2013 reports that 30.3%, or three out of 10 children 0-5 years old, are stunted. The Food and Nutrition Research Institute says that stunting results from “long-term food and nutrient deprivation that retards physical growth and cognitive development, and increases the risk to illnesses which may later affect economic productivity.” Wasting, or the low weight-for-height indicator, rose from 7.3 percent in 2011 to 7.9 percent in 2013.

The nutrition survey also reported that the prevalence of nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women remained high at 24.8% with pregnant teen-aged girls more likely to be nutritionally-at-risk at 37.2%. Nineteen out of every 100 pregnant women also were found underweight.

According to “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014” published by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the proportion of undernourished Filipinos to the rest of the population is 11.5%.

This hunger situation cannot continue said Aurea M. Teves, president of FIAN Philippines and convenor of the National Food Coalition. She said, it is contrary to human dignity and a violation of human rights. The government must take positive action to end hunger. The National Food Coalition urges the Philippine Congress to pass the zero-hunger bill immediately.  This bill provides a legal framework within which zero-hunger may be achieved progressively. The bill also provides an explicit guarantee to the right to adequate food, and clarifies its content, which includes food adequacy, availability, accessibility, freedom from adverse substances, and cultural or consumer acceptability. The bill also enumerates the human rights principles upon which the proposed law is based, namely, participation, accountability, non-discrimination, transparency, human dignity, empowerment, and rule of law.

The National Food Coalition is urging the Philippine government and civil society to come together and resolve firmly, as a community, to put an end to the hunger, which ultimately takes its toll on human dignity.

National Food Coalition
91 Madasalin St., Sikatuna Village,
Diliman 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: (02) 351-7553

Contact Persons:
Aurea G. Miclat-Teves – Convenor, National Food Coalition
ria.teves@yahoo.com.ph, +6323517553
Atty. Bombi Sunga – Legal Consultant
ricardo_sunga@yahoo.com, +63.917.854.2124

World Food Day 2014
16th October

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[Press Release]CLUP Now! pushes for immediate passage of NLUA to provide food security and eradicate hunger

CLUP Now! pushes for immediate passage of NLUA
to provide food security and eradicate hunger

In line with the celebration of this year’s World Food Day, the Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! Network (CLUP Now!)  urges for the passage of the National Land Use Act (NLUA).


“Proper use of land will help provide food security for the country. It definitely has a significant effect in eradicating hunger not just in the Philippines, but also in other countries that import Philippine produce,” stated Rep. Kaka J. Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands, the principal author of the NLUA still pending in the 16th Congress.

Lone district of Ifugao’s Rep. Teddy Baguilat, co-author of the NLUA bill in the Lower House, reiterated that the bill will not only help secure land for family farmers, but to provide food for the whole nation, as well.

Baguilat emphasized that the President has already certified NLUA as an urgent legislation. He said that the bill covers different areas that needed urgent action such as disaster risk reduction and food security. “Hunger is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed immediately,” added Baguilat. “We sometimes tend to overlook land use planning’s implications on food security and world hunger.”

This year’s World Food Day theme—Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”—focuses on eradicating world hunger and providing food security through farmer families and smallholder farmers

Anthony Marzan, convener of CLUP Now! pointed out that the passage of the said bill is important since land is the main resource needed to support smallholder and family farming. One of the categories of land use planning is the Production Land Use which focuses on utilization of land for agriculture, fish farming, grazing and pasture, among others.

For more information, contact:

Kim Alvarez, CLUP Now!, 0918-6545059, kbalvarez@gmail.com
Gillian Cruz, CLUP Now!, 09157830489, gillianmariecruz@gmail.com
CLUP Now! Network, campaignfornlua@gmail.com

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[People] The greatest hunger is for justice. By Fr. Shay Cullen

The greatest hunger is for justice
By Fr. Shay Cullen

Food, glorious food, our lives are dominated by the desire and need to eat and the agricultural industry provides food for the billions of people on the planet. However, some people eat too much food, over 1.5 billion and others have too little food, about 925 million people are malnourished and go hungry.


The people with too much food, most of it bad for the health, are dying from the surplus as they get heart failure, diabetes, cancers and many other conditions. Those with too little are dying too from the lack of nourishing food. It’s truly a matter of social justice on a local and then global scale and needs the just and fair distribution of the world’s resources and food above all.

Jesus of Nazareth, a prodigy of wisdom, advised his disciples to share whatever food they had (a few loaves and fishes) with the hungry people who had come out into the desert to hear him preach. The miracle was that the unselfish sharing of their little food inspired all the people who had food to share it with those who had none and there was enough for all.

Unselfish sharing is the way to bring greater balance into the world and the rich with compassion for the poor will have the spiritual insight and knowledge as to what is a good and right way to live and will have the spiritual will power and strength to control themselves and their appetite, greed and selfish urges. People are transformed when they forget themselves and get involved in helping change the world and help others. The real change in the world comes one person at a time, and it can then grow when others are inspired to do their share. Changing attitudes in a community by changing our way of life is teaching by example.

There is more than enough food in the world for everybody to eat well but the distribution is uneven due to corrupt governance, unfair laws and because the rich and well-fed have manipulated many a nation’s laws to benefit themselves and their luxuriant lifestyles. The poor have little chance for education, good job and food security. They don’t have a chance to provide for themselves.

Roger, a poor boy, asked me to help him get a job as a janitor in a fast food restaurant. He would be paid a minimum wage and allowed to have one meal a day. He just had to mop the floor and clean the toilets for eight hours. But to get the job, the company demanded a bunch of documents. He had to have a high school diploma, a health certificate, an x-ray, a birth certificate, 2 police clearance certificates, a letter of recommendation, a mayor’s work permit and money for a uniform.

For every document there is a fee to be paid, so the very poor, they are excluded and can’t even get a job that needs little training as a janitor, a good and noble profession, where would we be without them.

However, hundreds of thousands of youth are unemployed because of these ridiculous and expensive requirements. When he got the job, he was fired after six months so as not to have him qualify as a regular employee and get additional health benefits. That’s why hundreds of thousands go jobless and hungry.

If there is greater equality then absolute poverty will be eliminated and if there was less waste of food there would be a lowering of food prices and more people could be better fed. In the United States alone there is 40 million tons of food thrown away daily. In the UK, 15 million tons are wasted every day.

There are statistics showing that up to 30% of vegetables and fruit delivered to the UK supermarkets are rejected because they don’t reach the pristine shape and looks demanded by the managers.

In the Philippines, the left-over food from the plates of the restaurant customers are collected by the very poor and boiled and eaten. It keeps them alive. For another estimated 20 million Filipinos, a cup of cooked rice and a piece dried fish and a scrap of vegetable is all they can afford.

Even the ability of the people to feed themselves by growing their own food is being hampered by the control of the vegetable soya and corn seeds worldwide by companies making genetically modified organisms (GMO). Others have terminator seeds. These are sold with the help of corrupt Department of Agriculture personnel to farmers instead of traditional natural seeds.

The seeds are dependent on fertilizers made by the same company (Shell for example). They don’t produce seeds that will not grow again and the farmers have to go back and buy more seeds every year. Self reliance is taken away. That’s why many rural communities are in debt and poverty and some send their children to work in the cities. Many of them are trafficked into the sex trade.

What’s needed from most is a people’s power, peaceful, non-violent movement to protest and challenge the ruling elites and educate the people to elect honest representatives renowned for integrity with the best interests of the people at heart. Now that’s a real challenge. [shaycullen@preda.org; http://www.preda.org]

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[Press Release] End Hunger in the Philippines, adopt a Right to Adequate Food Framework Law -FIAN

End Hunger in the Philippines, adopt a Right to Adequate Food Framework Law

Quezon City -Super Typhoon Yolanda (also known by its international name as ‘Haiyan’) has caused unprecedented devastation in the Philippines.


“It is therefore necessary for the Philippine Government to consider climate change from a human rights-based perspective, and, in the process, to align its climate policies, with the right to adequate food. Climate change-induced super typhoons and other similar events, compromise food production and supply, and interfere with the enjoyment of the right to adequate food”, the National Food Coalition said in a statement.

The NFC, a group calling for the adoption of a right to adequate food framework law in the Philippines, has also expressed solidarity with the victims of the typhoon. “We express our deepest sympathies for those who have lost relatives and friends. We likewise express our heartfelt gratitude to the local and global community, which have provided humanitarian aid, accompanied by words of encouragement in our time of need. This has given us much reason to hope. Everyday, with the ongoing search and rescue operations, as we sift through the debris, and the death toll mounts, we realize more and more the extent to which we are subject to Mother Nature’s power, and being at the mercy of her fury.”

The NFC is composed of over 50 organizations and federations with more than 10,000 members from the urban poor, peasants, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk and the middle class. The NFC has highlighted the main drivers of hunger in the country like poverty, inequality and the resulting failure of the poor to access available resources.

“We appreciate the Philippine Government’s ongoing disaster and relief efforts. Certainly, fulfilling the right to adequate food of those affected is central to these efforts. Super Typhoon Yolanda has interrupted the people’s enjoyment of this basic human right, taking its toll especially on the most vulnerable in our midst,” the NFC statement.

But the group also stressed that “the time for the Philippine Government to act could have been sooner. For the Philippine Government, disaster risk reduction is essential. It includes protecting people’s livelihoods from shocks, and strengthening their capacity to recover from disasters, such as super typhoons.”

“Concrete and meaningful steps must be taken early on to prevent a crisis from happening, or at least, to mitigate its effects, to save precious life. There is an urgent need for the Philippine Government, in embarking on disaster risk reduction, and in considering climate change from a human rights-based perspective, to ensure the right to adequate food. This is the right of the people to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or through purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food, which corresponds to their cultural traditions, and which ensures a physically and mentally, individually and collectively, fulfilling and dignified life that
is free of fear” said Aurea Miclat-Teves NFC Convenor.

“Clear and comprehensive polices that promote the right to adequate food are urgently needed. In this context, we reiterate our call for the immediate adoption in the Philippines of a right to adequate food framework law”, the NFC statement added.

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[Statement] World Food Day Statement By National Food Coalition

World Food Day Statement
By National Food Coalition

On the occasion of World Food Day, 16 October 2013, the National Food Coalition renews
its call for the adoption of a comprehensive food policy by the Philippines. There is an
urgent need for a framework law on the right to adequate food to give expression to this
policy, and such a law should adopt a rights-based approach. The right to food is the right of
the people to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or through
purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food, which
corresponds to their cultural traditions, and which ensure a physical and mental, individual
and collective, fulfilling and dignified life that is free of fear.


The framework law should ensure people’s participation, accountability of those who violate
it, non-discrimination on account of sex, age or any other basis, transparency or open access
to information, respect for human dignity, empowerment of the people, and respect for the
rule of law. It must develop indicators for determining levels of improvement in the
enjoyment of the right to adequate food, and it should provide for effective remedies in
cases of violations, including criminal, civil and administrative liabilities on the part of

We reiterate this call, at this crucial time, when public demand is growing for the abolition of
the pork barrel, which members of the Philippine Congress have been dispensing as if it
were their own money. This fund has been abused, and public outrage has grown over
reports of corruption arising from misuse of these funds. Any new form of pork that retains
the basic feature of being discretionary and lacking in transparency will just perpetuate
corruption that drains resources away from public services needed by the people.

The amounts from the pork barrel that have found their way to the pockets of unscrupulous
government officials and their cohorts are precious funds that could have been used to
provide for the people’s basic needs, to promote their fundamental human rights, and to
advance the cause of their human dignity. Rather than continue the pork barrel, the
Philippine Government should consider more worthwhile measures. These include a
comprehensive program to end hunger in the Philippines. The Government should provide
for the necessary financial and other support to realize zero-hunger in the Philippines.

Contact Persons:
Aurea Miclat-Teves, Convenor, NFC, 0918-991-1910;
Bombi Sunga, FLAG lawyer- 0917-854-2124

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[Statement] Hunger among women is a gross violation of their rights -FIAN

Hunger among women is a gross violation of their rights.
On Women’s Day, FIAN Philippines calls for the realization of
women’s right to adequate food

Quezon City, March 8, 2013 – Women struggle daily to feed their families. Yet they are the most hungry. Realizing their human right to adequate food is not only a matter of gender equality and empowerment, it paves the way out of poverty

logo-fianHunger and poverty are the most important challenges that the Philippine government must address. If it wants to solve the problem in a sustainable way, two factors have to be taken into account: Hunger, worldwide as well as in the Philippines, is mainly rural. 80% of the worldwide hungry live in rural areas. Hunger is also female. Women contribute most of their income and time on ensuring the survival of their families. Yet, they are most vulnerable to hunger.

International Women’s Day reminds us of the severity of hunger among Filipino women. As a human rights organization advocating for the right to adequate food, FoodFirst Information & Action Network (FIAN) Philippines, has been actively supporting marginalized women from the rural, indigenous and urban poor sectors in claiming their right to adequate food.

Hunger among women is not only a question of the lack of food. It is also a question of power relations, of access to resources, of social and economic status, of discrimination, bias in society, and of human rights.

The following are only a few reasons why hunger among women in the Philippines persists:

The gender-dimension of hunger is mostly ignored
Hunger among women persists because they are invisible in the national statistics. According to the Social Weather Stations, 3.3 million families, or 16.5 million individuals, have experienced hunger in the fourth quarter of 2012. The figures do not show that half of the number of family members is women and girls.

Women’s reproductive roles are not recognized
Reproductive roles, household and community tasks are not recognized and understood in the same way as productive, “hard” work done by men. While reproductive roles are unpaid and undervalued, women’s effort and time invested in the care of their families are completely ignored. Women spend an average of 11 hours per day in productive and reproductive work, in coastal areas even up to 16 hours.

Invisibility of women’s productive work
Women’s role in food production is “invisible”. In developing countries women contribute significantly to food production. They are responsible for 55% of food growth and comprise 67% of agricultural labor. Investing in rural women therefore means investing in food security and rural development, as is acknowledged by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

In national statistics, however, only 25% of the agricultural workers are women. Food production and economic productivity in general is commonly measured in terms of economic benefits, farm output, fish catch and contribution to the GDP. Other work that ensures food production, such as fetching water, providing fuel, looking for capital, supplying food for workers, preparation of fisher nets or sorting fish catch, is not considered within the value chain. Unfortunately these are tasks mainly performed by women.

Gender-related income gaps still persist. Women receive lower pay than men, even for equal work. Women also experience discrimination in access to work.

Women’s sacrifices for their families
More mothers than children experience food insecurity. According to the 6th National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in 2003, 33.7% of mothers experience food insecurity. In times of food scarcity or lack of money, they skip meals or do not eat for the whole day. Women often sacrifice for the other members of the family, especially their children, when there is not enough food. The children and the husbands eat first, women eat what is left or do not eat at all.

Lack of access to rights
Women have rights and the Philippine state is obliged to protect, respect and fulfil them. The Philippines is signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Discrimination against women, including discrimination in access to food and resources, violates the principles of equality of rights. It is also an obstacle to the participation of women, on equal terms with men, in the political, social, economic and cultural life. Discrimination hampers the growth of the prosperity of society and the family. It not only results in lost opportunities for women themselves, but also for the development of countries.

The Philippines recognizes the right to adequate food of women in the Magna Carta of Women (MCW or RA9710). In Section 20, Food Security and Productive Resources, the State recognizes the contribution of women to food production. According to the MCW, the State shall guarantee, at all times, the availability of safe and health-giving food especially to satisfy the dietary needs of marginalized women and girls.

Implementing the women’s right to food
The State is urgently called to comply with its obligations and to fulfil the right to adequate food of Filipino women, especially in the marginalized sectors. There is still a lack of awareness on gender equality and gender equity within legislation and society. FIAN Philippines urges the State not only to recognize women’s rights during International Women’s Day, but to guarantee women’s rights at all times. There is an
urgent need to:
 Implement the Magna Carta of Women
 Strengthen the legal framework to the right to adequate food and gender equality
 Guarantee equal access to rights and resources
 Increase women’s participation in policy and decision making bodies
 Mainstream gender equality and gender equity as a matter of human rights, especially the right to adequate food.
Contact: fian.philippines@gmail.com

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[In the news] Solving the world’s ‘greatest solvable’ problem: Hunger -RAPPLER.com

Solving the world’s ‘greatest solvable’ problem: Hunger
By Voltaire Tupaz
January 6, 2013

rappler_logoMANILA, Philippines – Tonight, as we go to bed, one in 8 people will sleep on an empty stomach. There are about 870 million people in the world who suffer from hunger due to food scarcity based on Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data.

This is ironic because the world produces sufficient food for all despite the increase in population, FAO said. According to the World Food Program, it costs just US $0.25 per day to feed a child with healthy food.

Hunger ranked first on the list of the world’s Top 10 health risks, killing more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Climate change aggravates the problem as it threatens to push about 24 million children more into hunger by 2050, the WFP said.

Read full article @www.rappler.com

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[In the news] Cash dole no answer to poverty, says NGO -INQUIRER.net

Cash dole no answer to poverty, says NGO
By DJ Yap, Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 11, 2012

In spite of its successes, the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program is not the solution to rising hunger in the country, according to a nongovernmental organization.

FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) Philippines criticized the Aquino government’s reliance on the dole in easing poverty and reducing hunger, saying the program was insufficient to deal with these problems.

“This program has a wide coverage and contributes to children’s economic access to food. However, it remains very inadequate and is conditioned on performing other obligations whereas the right to food, which is a basic human right, is unconditional,” said Aurea Miclat-Teves, FIAN Philippines president.

In a statement from the group issued Wednesday, Teves said the supply of conditional services, such as schools and medicines “has been far behind the demand for these services.”
“The CCT program is not part of a coherent food policy,” Teves said.

FIAN Philippines said the rising hunger in the country was partly due to the lack of a comprehensive national food policy. It pointed to an urgent need for laws that would require full and active participation of all sectors concerned, including those most vulnerable to hunger.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

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[In the news] PNoy rating dips because of poverty, hunger – labor group -thepoc.net

PNoy rating dips because of poverty, hunger – labor group
Angeli Sabillo,thepoc.net
29 April 2012

Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)scored President Benigno Aquino III on Saturday, implying that the recent dip in his satisfactory ratings was because of his failure to ease hunger and poverty in the country.

In the Social Weather Station’s survey conducted last March 10 to 13, revealed that the Aquino administration’s net satisfaction dropped from “very good” (+56) in December 2011 to “good” (+46).

KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog said it is the “failure to give the public some form of relief from the soaring prices of petroleum products as well as of basic goods and services” that resulted in the dip in satisfaction rating of the government.

“Dissatisfaction with the president on the issue of prices is closely linked with his failure to provide workers and the poor with types of relief from hunger and poverty, such a a substantial wage increase,” he added.

Read full article @ thepoc.net

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[People] How We Help End Hunger by Fr. Shay Cullen

How We Help End Hunger

by Fr. Shay Cullen

Hiking through the Zambales hills visiting the villages of the Aeta indigenous people is an exhilarating and yet saddening experience. I have been thinking about my recent visits to the villages of the aboriginal people that first settled the Philippine islands and survived for thousands of years as hunters and gatherers in the abundant rain forests. Today, their future is uncertain and fraught with danger.

There, they developed a simple but beautiful culture that was at one with nature. They never over-hunted; their numbers were well-balanced for survival and healthy living. They had a well developed herbal medical practice that helped them survive thousands of years like the natives of the Amazon forests without modern medicine or much contact with the western world.

They protected the natural habitat and the native birds and animals thrived. Their cultural dances imitate the creatures of the forest such as their respect for nature. Today, all that has changed, the forests and animals are long gone and a greatly diminished environment is all that remains.

When the American-Spanish war broke out in 1898 and soon became the American-Filipino war, 90 percent or more of the rainforests were intact. Today, there is hardly three percent left, all have been logged out and mostly shipped abroad. After the World War II, the logging hardly ever stopped still today it continues. In Pangasinan on Western Luzon Island, a fifty kilometer road has been cut there the last remaining rainforest.

Loggers are still at it and either the government agencies are in cahoots or totally inept to stop it. In the village of Hukay, Calatagan Batangas, huge swaths of mangrove have been cut to shreds damaging the land, causing erosion and the ocean to invade the rice fields and causing a huge loss to the agriculture in the area. Food loss is the result, hunger soon follows.

Their survival depends on mixed farming and the bonus of the mango harvest. They too are facing food crises as prices of rice and other essential commodities increase and the prices that they get for their root crops, bananas, wild honey and mangos have been getting lower. Traders exploit them without compassion. It is only the Preda Fair Trade that buys from them at just and fair prices and delivers some social benefits to enhance their lives and help some of their children go to school. Government services and help hardly ever reach them.

They are part of the 4.5 million Filipinos who say they go hungry from time to time and part of the one billion people seriously hungry all the time worldwide. When drought hits, the result of climate change due to industrial pollution, famine can overwhelm them in a few months. That’s when the rains fail and the soil turns to dust blown in the wind. That’s when you see the skeletons of dead cattle and emaciated skeletal babies dying in their mother’s arms.

As I said in a previous column, 300 children die every hour every day worldwide for the lack of food. Malnutrition is with us and the millennium goal to eliminate or greatly reduce this hunger will not be reached by 2015.

The poor people in the developing world are facing a growing food crises that is getting more serious. Most of them do not have fertile land or the means to plant and nurture it. The best lands are owned and protected and unused by rich and wealthy families. It is investment in property for them not land to use for growing food.

Besides, even unused public land is not distributed with the means to help poor families grow their own food, they are turning the land into housing projects for the rich or they are leasing the land to foreign companies for food production to be shipped back to foreign lands.

There will be an additional 2.5 billion people in the world by 2050, how can they survive? If we act now and get involved with the agencies fighting the world hunger through Fair Trade and social justice, we can help halt the destruction of the environment and end chronic hunger. This we cannot ignore, we cannot turn away, we have to stand up for them and help them overcome the food crises. END
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[In the news] More Pinoys went hungry as 2011 came to a close – InterAksyon.com

More Pinoys went hungry as 2011 came to a close
by Abigail Kwok, InterAksyon.com

January 30, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – As 2011 came to a close, more Filipinos said they experienced hunger than earlier that year, the results of a recent Social Weather Stations survey showed Monday.

The survey, conducted December 3 to 7, showed 22.5 percent, or 4.5 million, Filipinos experiencing involuntary hunger, compared to September’s 21.5%, or 4.1 million Filipinos.

The increase in the hunger rating came even as earlier surveys showed self-rated poverty going down.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[From the web] Food prices to double by 2030, Oxfam warns

Charity says era of permanent food crisis will hit poorest people hardest and spark social unrest

by Felicity Lawrence

The average price of staple foods will more than double in the next 20 years, leading to an unprecedented reversal in human development, Oxfam has warned.

The world’s poorest people, who spend up to 80% of their income of food, will be hit hardest according to the charity. It said the world is entering an era of permanent food crisis, which is likely to be accompanied by political unrest and will require radical reform of the international food system.

Research to be published on Wednesday forecasts international prices of staples such as maize could rise by as much as 180% by 2030, with half of that rise due to the impacts of climate change.

After decades of steady decline in the number of hungry people around the world, the numbers are rapidly increasing as demand outpaces food production. The average growth rate in agricultural yields has almost halved since 1990 and is set to decline to a fraction of 1% in the next decade.

A devastating combination of factors ˆ climate change, depleting natural resources, a global scramble for land and water, the rush to turn food into biofuels, a growing global population, and changing diets ˆ have created the conditions for an increase in deep poverty.

“We are sleepwalking towards an age of avoidable crisis,” Oxfam’s chief executive, Barbara Stocking, said. “One in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone. The food system must be overhauled.”

Oxfam called on the prime minister, David Cameron, and other G20 leaders to agree new rules to govern food markets. It wants greater regulation of commodities markets to contain volatility in prices.

It said global food reserves must be urgently increased and western governments must end biofuels policies that divert food to fuel for cars.

It also attacked excessive corporate concentration in the food sector, particularly in grain trading and in seed and agrochemicals.

The Oxfam report followed warnings from the UN last week that food prices are likely to hit new highs in the next few weeks, triggering unrest in developing countries. The average global price of cereals jumped by 71% to a new record in the year to April last month.

Drought in the major crop-growing areas of Europe and intense rain and tornadoes in the US have led to fears of shortfalls in this year’s crops.

The World Bank warned last month that rising food prices have pushed 44 million people into poverty since last June.

[Editorial] Hunger – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Hunger – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos.

Source: Inquirer.net

Stung by the latest survey results indicating that more Filipinos were experiencing hunger, President Benigno Aquino III expressed reservations about their accuracy. The survey, conducted by Social Weather Stations from March 4 to 7, found one out of every five respondents—or 20.5 percent—claiming to have gone hungry at least once over the previous three months. That translates to about 4.1 million hungry families—700,000 more than the number who made a similar claim in November last year. The same poll also showed that 51 percent considered themselves poor, higher than the 49 percent who placed themselves in the same category three months earlier.

Confronted with these results, the President was unconvinced. How could that be, he asked, when the labor department was reporting more people finding employment and private business was saying it was hiring more workers? Besides, he added, the statistical sample used in the survey didn’t “capture” those who were benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of the government. Mr. Aquino pointed out that the CCT targeted the 400,000 poorest families in less developed areas of the Visayas and Mindanao which, together with Metro Manila, saw declines in the incidence of self-rated hunger. On the other hand, the proportion of hungry people reached a record high of 25 percent in Luzon (outside of Metro Manila), up from 18.3 percent in November.

Had the survey sample been “reversed,” the results would have shown more people finding relief from hunger pangs, he said.

Surely Mr. Aquino knows more than most that any survey to be meaningful and useful cannot be “skewed” one way or another. Unless it can be shown that the survey sampling was unscientific or the methodology employed by SWS was flawed, he has to take the unflattering results at face value and look for the explanations elsewhere.

Inquirer columnist Randy David has offered one plausible reason for the spike in the number of people claiming hunger. He pointed out that the survey was done at a time when the Department of Social Welfare and Development was also conducting interviews to assess the eligibility of families for the CCT. An indigent mother being interviewed by the SWS or by the DSWD “would not be able to tell the difference,” David said, and, aiming to qualify for the cash transfer, “she would be inclined to picture her family’s circumstances in the direst possible way.” Just the news that interviews are being scheduled by the DSWD already creates a “sense of anticipation” that makes it difficult to get “an objective assessment of poverty and self-reported hunger.” Like the smell of cooking causing instant hunger, it may be added.

But it would be a gross mistake for the Aquino administration to consider widespread hunger as largely a matter of perception. The stark reality is that hunger stalks every corner of the country outside the gated communities of the super-rich. And if the survey says most of the very poor are not enjoying the benefits of the CCT and other programs aimed at alleviating hunger, then a review is in order. Maybe these programs are not reaching the right targets. Or it could be that the beneficiaries are too few to make an impact on the overall situation. Or perhaps the amounts being given are too small to provide sustained relief from hunger over a span of time. But it would be folly to shift focus simply to shore up the survey ratings. Fighting poverty and hunger is the principal obligation of government. Looking good should come naturally to an administration that makes significant headway toward eliminating them.

[In the News] BusinessWorld Online Edition |Hunger keeps rising, poverty also up SWS

BusinessWorld Online Edition |Hunger keeps rising, poverty also up SWS.

Source: http://www.bworldonline.com

MORE FILIPINOS are going hungry and consider themselves poor, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in a new report, the details of which highlight the challenges facing the Aquino administration.

A March 4-7 poll, the results of which were made exclusive to BusinessWorld, had 20.5% of respondents — or an estimated 4.1 million families — claiming to have gone hungry at least once in the past three months.

This was up from the 18.1% (an estimated 3.4 million families) recorded in November 2010 when the rate again began climbing from that year’s 15.9% low.

The result is also almost seven points above the 12-year average of 13.8%, the SWS said.

Last month’s poll, moreover, found that 51% — an estimated 10.4 million families — consider themselves mahirap or poor, two points up from November’s 49%. Also, 40% (8.1 million families), consider themselves food-poor, higher than the 36% notched in the previous survey.

A senior government official said external shocks likely contributed and added that the Aquino administration remained committed to its promise of alleviating poverty.

The rise in overall hunger, the SWS said, resulted from increases for both moderate and severe hunger. The area comprising Balance Luzon was the hardest hit, with hunger rates hitting record highs.

Nationwide, moderate hunger — experiencing it only once or a few times — rose to 15.7% (an estimated 3.2 million families) from 15% (2.8 million families) in November. Severe hunger — experiencing it often or always — increased to 4.7% (950,000 families) from 3.1% (588,000 families).

By area, overall hunger hit a record 25% (2.2 million families) in Balance Luzon from 18.3% (1.5 million families). The new rate topped the previous high of 22.3% in September 2007, and offset declines in Mindanao (16.7% from 18%), Metro Manila (20.7% from 21.7%) and the Visayas (14.7% from 15.3%).

Broken down, moderate hunger hit a record 18.7% in Balance Luzon, overtaking record of 18.1% in March 2010. This also cancelled out improvements in the Visayas (9.7% from 12.7%), Metro Manila (16.7% from 17.7%) and Mindanao (14.7% from 16%).

“The new moderate hunger rates are still higher than their 12-year averages for all areas, except in the Visayas where the latest … is lower than the 12-year average of 10.2%,” the SWS said.

Severe hunger also hit a record high of 6.3% in Balance Luzon, surpassing the 6% hit in December 2008. The rate stayed at 4% in Metro Manila and at 2% in Mindanao but rose to 5% from 2.7% in the Visayas.

The latest rates were also higher than the 12-year averages for all areas except for Mindanao where it is some two points lower.

Self-rated poverty, meanwhile, rose in all areas except Metro Manila, where it fell 10 points to 34% from 44%. This, however, was overwhelmed by an eight-point increase in the Visayas (61% from 53%), a five-point gain in Mindanao (49% from 44%), and by a three-point rise in Balance Luzon (54% from 51%).

It rose by four points to 59% in rural areas and by three points to 45% in urban areas.

Self-rated food poverty fell by four points to 24% in Metro Manila but increased elsewhere: 12 points to 51% in the Visayas, four points to 42% in Balance Luzon and by four points to 38% in Mindanao.

The self-rated poverty threshold — the monthly budget that poor households need in order not to consider themselves poor in general — remained sluggish despite inflation.

Compared to the previous quarter, the median poverty threshold for poor households stayed at P15,000 in Metro Manila, P9,000 in Balance Luzon and P8,000 in the Visayas; it rose to P7,000 from P5,000 in Mindanao. These amounts had been surpassed in the past in those areas, the SWS said.

As of March 2011, the median food-poverty threshold for poor households in Metro Manila fell back to P8,000 after a record-high P9,000 in the previous quarter. It went up to P5,000 from P4,000 in Balance Luzon, stayed at P4,000 in the Visayas, and rose to P3,850 from P3,000 in Mindanao. These amounts had also been surpassed in the past, the SWS said.

As a measurement of belt-tightening, the SWS said Metro Manila’s median poverty threshold of P15,000 in Metro Manila was barely above the P10,000 in 2000 even though the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had risen by over 60%. The P15,000, it said, is equivalent to just P8,886 in base year 2000 purchasing power and is a throwback to living standards of over fifteen years ago.

At the March 2011 cost of living, the 2010 median of P10,000 is equivalent to P16,880, and deducting the current P15,000 means households cut living standards by P1,880.

In terms of food poverty, food-poor Metro Manila households tightened belts by P42.

Sought for comment, Social Welfare Undersecretary Celia C. Yangco said: “During the last quarter, we’ve experienced a lot of shocks … such as the troubles arising in the Middle East … we’ve also seen an increase in food prices over the past quarter.”

She noted, however, that the government was continuing to undertake “sustainable livelihood” schemes such as conditional cash transfers and the KALAHI-CIDSS community development program.

The SWS polled 1,200 adults nationwide for the latest survey, which used sampling error margins of ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages. — J. D. Poblete