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Number of Filipinos Going Hungry Doubles on COVID-19, Poll Reports

  • The number of Filipinos going hungry has doubled over the past six months.
  • Approximately 4.2 million people are unable to eat, increasing from December, while 91% of Filipinos aged 15 or older are nervous.
  • Anti-virus shutdown restrictions in the Philippines since March have destroyed jobs and damaged incomes, with the unemployment rate rising to a record 17.7 percent in April.
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The number of Filipinos going hungry has doubled over the past six months and, according to a survey released Friday, more than 90 percent of its residents are feeling stress as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately 4.2 million people are unable to eat, increasing from December, while 91% of Filipinos aged 15 or older are nervous, according to a poll conducted by Social Weather Stations on May 4 to 10.

Anti-virus shutdown restrictions in the Philippines since March have destroyed jobs and damaged incomes, with the unemployment rate rising to a record 17.7 percent in April. This year the economy of the country will contract, World Bank forecast. Although some companies have been able to reboot, many curbs remain in place particularly in the greater Manila area, which is the economy ‘s main economic engine.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce on Monday whether to relax further restrictions. Transportation in Manila is still very limited, as the government tries to improve activity while mitigating the risk of spreading infections. Total cases of coronavirus, approximately 25,000 this month, have risen faster than in May.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, the vice-chair of the government’s virus response task force, said it might be necessary to maintain the general quarantine status of Manila’s community, CNN Philippines reported Friday. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, another senior member of the task force, lent his support to a modified form of quarantine. In a virtual briefing he said that according to the report, the extent of quarantine restrictions will depend on the situation in the coming days.

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