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Palace: Reopening economy to reduce hunger rate

Reopening the economy will help reduce the number of families that experience hunger amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Malacañang said Monday.

The government has implemented the gradual reopening of businesses and industries affected by the coronavirus restrictions but a recent poll found that a record 7.6 million households experienced involuntary hunger at least once during 2020's third quarter.

According to the Social Weather Stations (SWS), the proportion of families who experienced involuntary hunger rose to 30.7 percent from July to September, surpassing the previous peak of 23.8 percent registered in March 2012.

The hunger trend has been rising since May 2020, reversing the steady decline from 23.8 percent in March 2012 to 8.8 percent in December 2019.

“Nakakalungkot itong balitang ito. Kaya nga po tayo nagbubukas ng ekonomiya para mapababa ‘yung mga numero lalong-lalo na ‘yung mga nagugutom,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.

Roque said the government is using its available resources to aid Filipinos struggling to survive the pandemic.

“Hindi naman tayo pabaya doon sa obligasyon ng estado na magbigay ng tulong,” he said. —KBK, GMA News