SWS yearend survey shows poverty, hunger up despite growth claims

IT shows that the so-called ‘inclusive growth’ being bragged about by the Aquino government does not benefit the majority of our people.”

This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to the recently-released Social Weather Stations survey conducted last Dec. 8-11 showing that the number of households that rate themselves “poor” and “food poor” increased from August, the previous survey period.

The survey revealed that households that consider themselves poor increased to 10.9 million or 54 per cent last December from 9.5 million or 47 per cent in August, while those that consider themselves food poor increased to 8.9 million or 44 per cent from 7.2 million or 35 per cent.

“The results of the SWS survey confirm what we have been monitoring in workplaces and communities. The so-called growth being hyped by the Aquino government has not resulted in increased employment, wages, and social services for the majority,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“Despite an increased budget allocation, the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program has not reduced hunger and poverty. The same goes for short-term employment in the construction sector and the much-ballyhooed jobs in the Business Process Outsourcing sector,” he added.

“The survey also reflects the devastation wrought by typhoons Pablo and Sendong in Mindanao. Farms have been destroyed, jobs have been lost and we are disgusted that the government is not responding as swiftly as it should,” he said.

Self-rated poverty and self-rated poor-poverty worsened in Mindanao from 57 to 72 per cent and from 45 to 63 per cent, respectively.

“As long as workers’ and people’s demands for decent employment, a significant wage hike, affordable housing and social services are not met, there’s no genuine growth. The Aquino government is merely trying to cover up the extreme level of poverty and hunger with celebrations of economic growth,” Labog said.

“Celebrations of so-called economic growth actually put Aquino’s sincerity in resolving poverty in question. He is not trying to recognize the real extent of hunger and poverty, but is trying to hide these from the public’s view,” he added.

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