Palace admits more must be done to tackle hunger caused by pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — The government must do more to alleviate hunger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Malacañang acknowledged on Friday.
The Palace was responding to a survey conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) that showed that six out of 10 families had little to no food amid the pandemic.
The survey found that 62.1 percent of Filipino families suffer from moderate to severe food insecurity.
“Ginagawan po natin ang lahat para masolusyunan itong problema ng kagutuman sa panahon ng pandemya pero alam natin na mas marami pang dapat gawin,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(We are doing everything possible to solve this problem of hunger because of the pandemic, but we know that more must be done.)
At present, the government is giving out food packs to families in local lockdown areas and financial aid to employees and businesses.
“Naiintindihan natin talaga na kapag hindi makapagtrabaho ang mga tao ay talagang ang resulta ay kagutuman, kaya nga gustuhin man natin na pahabain pa itong lockdown ay talagang napakahirap ng decision dahil tinitimbang din natin ‘yung kahirapan na magiging bunga ng lockdown,” Roque said
(When people cannot work, this results in hunger. That’s why even though we want to extend the lockdown, this is a very difficult position because we are weighing the poverty that will result from this lockdown.)
From March 29 to April 12, the government imposed a strict enhanced community quarantine on Metro Manila and neighboring provinces, displacing 1.5 million workers.
About 500,000 people got their jobs back when quarantine was downgraded to modified ECQ, said the Department of Trade and Industry.
An MECQ extension until May 14 will cause about 500,000 workers to remain unemployed, even though the government allowed barbershops, salons, and indoor dining.
President Duterte apologized for extending MECQ over the so-called “NCR Plus bubble” and said it was done in order to address the spike in cases and overcrowded hospitals.
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