The significant drop in the number of families that experienced involuntary hunger in the National Capital Region (NCR) is an indicator that safely resuming economic activity can help families earn enough income in order to ensure that they have enough to eat––and should be replicated in other parts of the country to help prevent hunger.
This was stressed by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who on Wednesday said: “We believe the reopening of Metro Manila was a key contributor to the 8.6-point drop in total hunger in Metro Manila.”
“These positive developments coincide with the resumption of economic activity in NCR as we eased quarantine protocols and more people went back to work.”
According to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) hunger survey, the total percentage of families that experienced hunger in NCR dropped from 23.3% in November 2020 to 14.7% in May 2021.
“The improving hunger figures include both moderate and severe hunger, with moderate hunger falling from 16.7% in November 2020 to 12% in May 2021, and severe hunger going down from 6.6% in November last year to 2.7% last May,” explained Nograles, who also heads the government’s Zero Hunger Task Force.
“These positive developments coincide with the resumption of economic activity in NCR as we eased quarantine protocols and more people went back to work,” the Palace official pointed out.
“We have to replicate this in areas outside Metro Manila in order to address hunger, particularly in Mindanao, where total hunger rose by 4.7 percentage points.”
The SWS survey found that 20.7% of families in Mindanao experienced hunger in May 2021, up from 16% in November 2020. Total hunger also rose in Luzon, from 14.4% in November 2020 to 15.7% in May 2021, as well as the Visayas, where total hunger rose from 14.3% in November 2020 to 16.3% in May 2021.
“We’ve already seen this in NCR, and as more of our countrymen get vaccinated in other parts of the country, it will be possible to open the provinces up and allow our kababayan to resume their livelihoods.”
“What we can take away from this,” said Nograles, “is that our anti-hunger efforts will benefit from putting more money in the hands of Filipino families.”
“We’ve already seen this in NCR, and as more of our countrymen get vaccinated in other parts of the country, it will be possible to open the provinces up and allow our kababayan to resume their livelihoods,” added the former legislator.
“Kailangan natin magtulungan––ang gobyerno, ang private sector, ang buong sambayanan––para tuloy na tayo makabangon sa pandemya. The sooner we beat COVID, the sooner we can make progress to beat hunger.”