The number of Filipinos going hungry has doubled in the past six months and more than 90% of its residents are experiencing stress as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey says.

Writing for Bloomberg on June 14, 2020, Karl Lester M. Yap said “about 4.2 million people can’t afford to eat, soaring from December, while 91% of Filipinos aged 15 or older are feeling anxious, according to a SWS poll conducted May 4 to 10.”

Anti-virus lockdown restrictions since March have devastated jobs and hurt incomes in the Philippines, with the jobless rate surging to a record 17.7% in April. The country’s economy will contract this year, the World Bank (WB) forecast. While some businesses have been allowed to restart, many curbs remain in place particularly in the greater Manila region, which is the main driver of the economy.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to decide on Monday whether more restrictions will be loosened. Transportation is still very limited in Manila, as the government seeks to boost activity while minimizing the risk of infections spreading. Total coronavirus cases, approaching 25,000, have risen faster this month than in May and fatalities soared to 1,098 on June 15.

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@2020 by The Financial District