Press Secretary Cerge Remonde described the P960,000-dinner of the Arroyo entourage at the posh Le Cirque restaurant in New York as “simple”, even “forgettable”.
But consider these figures:
In Metro Manila, the estimated cost of food as of June 2009 is P9,114 per month for an entire family.
Thus, with P960,000, around 105 families in Metro Manila could have enjoyed a fairly decent three square meals a day for one month.
Spent for one day, it could have fed 3,160 families.
Spent for one dinner (as Arroyo and company did at Le Cirque), it could have fed 9,480 families.
An ordinary family has five members, so just go figure how many mouths that “simple, forgettable” dinner could have satisfied.
According to the June 2009 survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), there are about 7.2 million Filipino families nationwide that are “food-poor”. That’s around 36 million poor people.
The same survey also reported that 6.1 million families (or around 31 million Filipinos) are on the borderline of food poverty.
Does Remonde still remember John Paul Mahinay?
Mahinay was the 11-month old baby from a poor family in General Santos City who died of severe malnutrition and hunger-related disease on September 19, 2005.
And the Le Cirque dinner was simple and forgettable?
To say that the Le Cirque dinner was lavish is a gross understatement. For millions of Filipinos who go to bed hungry every night, it was revolting, scandalous, immoral.