Task force acknowledges hunger-joblessness correlation

THE ZERO Hunger Task Force has acknowledged that the rise in the number of households that experienced hunger in the past three months is closely tied to joblessness, supporting the need to reopen more economic activities.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, who chairs the task force, cited the September reports of the Social Weather Station (SWS) on hunger and unemployment.

“It looks like the severe and moderate hunger ng SWS in the same period, umakyat na to (went up to) 11.2% (or) severe, 7.1% (or) moderate, kapag walang (if there is no) job or livelihood,” he said at an online webinar with BusinessWorld and Philippine Star on Tuesday.

He mentioned in particular the Visayas, where the increase in joblessness and hunger rate is likely linked to the impact of the lockdown on the tourism sector.

In response to this, he said, the government is gradually working on opening up tourist destinations, beginning with Boracay.

“We’re looking at other areas as well, if we start opening these things up, and we get tourists to come, then hopefully, that will revive both the formal and informal economies dependent on tourism,” he said.

The Zero Hunger Task Force will be launching the National Food Policy on Oct. 16, which will contain the roadmap to end hunger in the Philippines by 2030.  — Charmaine A. Tadalan