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Saturday, February 24, 2024

More Filipinos overcoming hunger, poverty; proof that Marcos’ agri programs are effective, says Anti-Poverty chief

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More than a million Filipino families overcoming hunger and poverty was clear-cut proof that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directives and programs to combat inflation was effective amid global economic crises.

National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Lope Santos III said “the Marcos administration defied the odds” after the country was bombarded with “doom projections due to the El Niño and spikes in oil and rice prices, all which would have made for the perfect storm that would drive up hunger and poverty.”

Santos made the remark after OCTA Research reported that from September 30 to October 4, more than 1.3 million Filipino families said they overcame hunger, while 1 million families overcame poverty.

National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Lope Santos III (center)

The NAPC chief also attributed to the 5.9 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the third quarter as well as the taming of the inflation rate which slowed down to 4.9 percent.

“Against these odds, the opposite has happened: both poverty and hunger have dipped. There is no better validation of the direction the government has taken than these critical benchmarks,” Santos said.

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“This success can also be attributed in part to the convergence of programs, projects and services of National Government Agencies, Local Government Units, the basic sectors, and private sector in addressing poverty and hunger,” the Anti-Poverty chief added.

Prior to OCTA’s poll, President Marcos ordered stringent measures against rice smuggling and hoarding, and issued directives to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to strengthen rice production of Filipino farmers.

The President also ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy rice from Filipino farmers at a higher price, while selling it to local markets at a lower price.

He also suspended all collection of pass-through fees of vehicles carrying agricultural products, decreasing the costs of logistics to bring food from the farms down to the markets.

But Santos said “this good news should be met not with gloating but with greater determination to pursue the vision of this administration of food security and poverty alleviation.”

“These trajectories will only be sustained by the right policies which prioritize the welfare of the people,” he added.

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