Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Poor Filipinos reduced to eating garbage

By Neal Cruz - Inquirer News Service - Oct 22, 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

There's The Rub : Hungry

By Conrado de Quiros - Inquirer News Service Oct 07, 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