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PHILIPPINES: Number of Hungry People Drops

The number of Filipinos experiencing hunger has dropped, according to a survey by independent pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS). The drop comes as the World Bank also predicts a drop in the poverty rate in the country. Results of the SWS survey revealed that an estimated 2.3 million Filipino families, or 9.1 percent, experienced hunger as a result of poverty.

Caritas Manila welcomed the drop and expressed hope that the decline would be sustained. “That’s great news,” said Father Anton Pascual, executive director of the social action arm of the Manila Archdiocese. What is more important is for the “factors leading to the decrease to be sustained to ensure the eradication of hunger in this country,” he said.

A World Bank report noted that amid easing inflation and rising incomes, the poverty rate in the Philippines will likely fall below 20 percent next year. The fall comes “as real wages continue to rise and employment continues to expand towards non-agriculture wage employment,” the report said.

The latest poverty incidence figure is equivalent to 23.1 million poor Filipinos, down from the 28.8 million below the poverty line three years ago.   


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