Other than the three “bad-news” Cabinet members he mentioned, it is the Social Weather Stations’ hunger polls that must be giving President Benigno Aquino III headaches. One month SWS reports a million more Filipinos going hungry. A few months later, a million Filipinos are no longer hungry. What’s the man to do?
The surveys are innocuous really, but when Mr. Aquino’s officials use the most recent hunger survey to applaud the purported success of its dole-with-conditions program (euphemistically called “conditional cash transfer”), and even to recommend its expansion, they are on to a major policy fiasco.
With due respect to the very professional SWS, which has been politically independent in contrast to its rivals, I submit that its hunger surveys are flawed.