MANILA MalacaAang on Wednesday expressed concern over a survey which showed that more Filipinos believed they are poor, assuring that measures are in place to ease inflation and high prices of goods.
In a survey conducted from Sept. 15 to 23, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found 52 percent of families consider themselves as poor.
The SWS said this figure is four points above the 48 percent in June 2018, and is the highest since the similar 52 percent in December 2014.
Moreover, the survey also found 36 percent of families rating their food as mahirap or poor, termed by SWS as food-poor.
We view with concern the Third Quarter 2018 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing 52 percent of Filipino families considered themselves as mahirap and 36 percent rating their food as mahirap, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
Roque said MalacaAang understands the public sentiment noting that the survey was conducted in September the same month that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) bared that the inflation rose to 6.7 percent.
He added that there were many factors which contributed to higher inflation including the destruction to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Typhoon Ompong in the Cordillera, Ilocos and Cagayan regions.
According to Roque, this would explain why self-rated poverty (SRP) in Balance Luzon rose to 47 percent in September.
He, however, assured that the government has implemented measures to cushion the impact of inflation and bring food on the table of poor families.
Walang pamilyang Pilipino ang dapat magutom. Iyan ang atas at hangarin ng Pangulo (There shouldn't be any Filipino family going hungry. That is the desire of the President), Roque said.
On Tuesday, Roque announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the unimpeded importation of rice as part of government efforts to combat rising inflation and lower prices.
The President approved unimpeded importation of rice as a measure to reduce inflation. He wants to flood the market with rice so that even if the price of crude and other oil prices should go up still further, that people will have access to affordable rice, Roque said in Tuesday's Palace briefing.
Roque said this means that the National Food Authority (NFA) will no longer have the power to accredit which rice dealers will be allowed to import rice, and determine how much rice to import
In a press briefing, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) clarified that despite Duterte's directive on unimpeded rice imports, the current NFA regulation remains in place pending the passage of a rice tariffication law in the Congress.
It is the President's directive and direction to make importation unimpeded and hassle-free, and with less restrictions. But currently, since we have the NFA regulation still in place while waiting for the rice tariffication law, we still follow regulations although this is now less restrictive and easier for importers to bring in rice, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency