Tuesday, November 02, 2004
TWO young children died the other day because they ate rotten food recovered from a garbage can and brought home by their father. Did you get that? Poor Filipinos have been reduced to eating garbage -- literally -- and are dying because of it.
As the cliché goes, they're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. They'll die of starvation if they don't eat, but they'll die anyway if they eat the garbage that they are able to scrounge from the trashcans.
Can you see the irony? Officials of government financial institutions take home millions of pesos in salaries and politicians travel in style around the world and eat the most expensive steaks while their constituents eat garbage! Generals amass wealth and squirrel them away in other countries while the people whom they are sworn to serve wallow in poverty! Our own President travels all around the country and the world with a retinue, shakes hands and delivers speeches and cuts ceremonial ribbons, while her constituents living in appalling conditions not very far from Malacañan Palace are dying because they are forced to eat garbage!
Read more: Inquirer Opinion
Monday, November 01, 2004
I FIRST heard it at a meeting with Sixto Roxas and several other economic experts. The crisis staring the country in the face, they said, was not really a fiscal or financial one, it was a social one. Specifically, it had to do with hunger. That was what the figures were showing, and that was more and more likely to happen over the next several months. It wasn't just that the banks would go kaput, it was that the people would go hungry.
Well, the papers have just confirmed what they've known all this time. The good news is that hunger reached its highest peak not during Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's term but Joseph Estrada's, or shortly after Estrada's. That was in March 2001, a couple of months after Estrada was overthrown, when the incidence of hunger reached 16.1 percent. Though that happened in President Arroyo's time, we may safely conclude it was still the product of Estrada's mismanagement, a euphemism for the mess he made of this country.
The bad news is that the second highest incidence of hunger happened during President Arroyo's time. The even worse news is that it happened two months into her second term. Hunger rose spectacularly. It did so as prices soared, putting food and other necessities beyond reach of the poor.
Read More - Philippine Daily Inquirer
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Read article of William Esposo of the Philippines Inquirer dated October 17, 2004
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Despite the more-or-less sustained economic growth from 1985 to 1997, the poorest 20% of the population only improved their income 0.5% for every 1% growth in average income. In other words, they slipped further behind and income inequality became even more extreme.
MALNUTRITION and HUNGER
There are now approximately 4 million (32%) preschool children who are underweight-for-age, 3 million (20%) adolescents who are underweight-for-age, and 5 million (13.2%) adults who are chronically energy deficient. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious problem, with 7% of pregnant women and 8% of infants under six months being severely deficient. Iron deficiency anemia affects 57% of infants, 51% of pregnant women, and 46% of lactating women.
The primary cause of malnutrition is the inequitable distribution of food, which is related of course to poverty. The typical Filipino diet is grossly inadequate for energy and other nutrients, causing human bodies to compensate for inadequate energy intake by utilizing protein as an energy source; the usual result is PEM. This situation is unlikely to improve as long as an estimated 28 million Filipinos are unable to buy food to meet basic nutritional requirements.
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Clarence Henderson's Pearl of the Orient Seas
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Dear Madam President:
The Philippines is now a case of humanitarian disaster. Late last year, the Food and Nutrition Research Institution of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) released a survey finding that “8 out of 10 households are hungry.” This is the first time, to our knowledge, that the government, through an important agency, acknowledged the fact that mass hunger -- and not only mass poverty -- now grips the lands.
The reported FNRI-DOST finding that 8 out of 10 households are hungry, if true, can only mean that the Philippines has become a case of humanitarian disaster warranting the urgent concern of the international community and a program of international aid and assistance.
The human dimension of the FNRI-DOST statistic is reflected in this news report: “Mothers now selling their babies, while fathers sell their kidneys, and farmers eat field rats.”
The FNRI-DOST finding, Madam President, was made public through the November 2, 2003, issue of Today, which front-paged the story. But that story didn’t elicit any public reaction, even from the media. Today appears to be the only paper that published it.
Saturday, July 31, 2004
2. To establish facilities for spiritual care and leadership training to: (a) impart basic Christian moral values among youth;and (b) equip the youth to become catalysts of positive change in their communities;
3. To support Christian ministries working to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ among: (a) the youth, (b) the "unreached" ethnic minority groups of the Asian nations;
4. To encourage, facilitate, administer, and manage gifts and donations to further the purposes and objectives of the foundation; and
5. To exercise any and all powers, rights and privileges to accomplish any of the purposes and objectives of the foundation.