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PH democracy’s last stand

This could be the 2016 elections. If good leaders emerge, the economy will grow and become inclusive. If not, hunger, poverty and desperation will hasten the nation’s descent into a failed state status. To avoid the latter, each and every Filipino must ensure a positive outcome in 2016.

Posted: April 16th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

The fight for food and climate justice

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Just three days after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (known internationally as “Haiyan”), the biggest storm to ever make landfall, devastated my homeland, I attended the opening of the United Nations’ climate change talks in Poland.

Posted: March 27th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Unless otherwise provided by law’

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Last Wednesday I was at a hearing of the House committee on constitutional amendments, which had asked for data on “the quality of life of the Filipinos vis-à-vis the posted economic growth of the Philippines.” There I presented the SWS surveys that show that Philippine poverty, hunger and joblessness have been disappointingly flat in the past decade, despite rapid economic growth. I pointed out that joblessness of well above 20 percent is not new, but has been around since 2005, and also that “Yolanda” victims are no more jobless than nonvictims.

Posted: February 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Poverty, hunger and ‘Yolanda’

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Super Typhoon “Yolanda” was so devastating that it raised Self-rated Poverty by three points, Self-rated Food Poverty also by three points, and Hunger by almost one point, according to the Social Weather Survey of Dec. 11-16, 2013. Incidentally, it also raised President’s Aquino’s net satisfaction rating by one point.

Posted: January 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The heartless concern for GDP

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To meaningfully tally the economic devastation caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” one should count the numbers of people, not the money value of production, affected. As of Nov. 21, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported 4,011 persons dead, 18,567 injured, and 1,602 missing.

Posted: November 23rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Shell-shocked

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“People are walking like zombies looking for food,” said a medical student in Leyte. “It’s like a movie.”

Posted: November 12th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Stubborn hunger

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“Hunger worsens,” said BusinessWorld’s headline the other day (8/15/2013), comparing national proportions of hungry families in the two latest quarterly surveys of Social Weather Stations: 22.7 percent in June 2013 versus 19.2 percent in March 2013.

Posted: August 16th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Recovered harvests

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Wasting food is “like stealing from tables of the poor,” Pope Francis told a UN World Environment Day audience. “A culture of waste… is despicable when many suffer from hunger.”

Posted: June 10th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘More hungry Filipinos’ means more corruption?

The March 19-22 Social Weather Stations survey showing a rise in the number of Filipinos experiencing hunger tells a lot about the efforts of the Aquino administration in trying to stay true to its slogan, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.”

Posted: June 2nd, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Perennial irony

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Naty has not heard or read about the Marcoses, Estradas, Binays and Ampatuans wresting election victory. She is a 53-year-old beggar who looks a haggard 80. What matters is even leftover food, she shrugs.

Posted: May 24th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Hunger

The raid on Tuesday of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao City would not have happened had national and local officials been sensitive to the situation of the survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” from Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. Complaining of hunger and neglect, the survivors belonging to the group Barug Katawhan forced their way into the office and made off with sacks of rice and other relief goods. (Spokesperson Karlos Trangia was reported as assiduously listing the stuff carted away, from 52 sacks of rice down to a single can of biscuits.) The police later wrested back the goods taken, resulting in injuries to a number of people.

Posted: March 1st, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why I don’t want to see him anymore

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Cheese corn—it’s one of the comfort foods that a typical University of the Philippines student like me, or maybe even people not in UP, can relate to. I think no one can resist boiled corn kernels in a soup oozing with melted margarine and cheese powder. Om nom nom, indeed. But to be honest, I kind of don’t want to see the cheese corn vendor anymore.

Posted: February 11th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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