Charting the cycle of hunger in PH: It’s always there

Residents of a small apartment building in Tondo, Manila, do their house chores outside their units.
SLUM COMPLEX Residents of a small apartment building in Tondo, Manila, do their house chores outside their units. A Philippine household needs to earn more than P12,082 a month to meet its members’ basic needs. —REUTERS FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines—It was in 2021 when President Rodrigo Duterte said that while it’s easy to promise an end to hunger, the path to fulfilling it was not paved like an expressway.
RELATED STORY: SWS: 3M families experienced hunger in 4th qtr
Duterte said this a year after signing Executive Order No. 101 that created the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger (IATF-ZH) to address the reasons people go hungry.
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The IATF–ZH was asked to work on a National Food Policy (NFP) as Duterte recognized that hunger, and other problems, continued to be serious concerns.
READ: Duterte forms task force on zero-hunger
This, as the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed in late 2019 (Q4) that 8.8 percent—or 2.1 million—of households experienced hunger—7.3 percent and 1.5 percent had moderate and severe hunger.

READ: SWS: Fewer hungry Pinoys in 4th quarter
It was a 0.3 percent fall from the 9.1 percent—or 2.3 million—households in third quarter 2019—7.4 percent experienced moderate hunger while 1.7 percent had severe hunger.
However, as COVID-19 lockdowns brought an economic standstill, hunger hit 30.7 percent of households in third quarter of 2020–22 percent with moderate hunger and 8.7 percent with severe hunger.

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