Food self-sufficiency a must

The Department of Agriculture, together with LGUs, should play a more decisive role in rolling out urban farming technologies to encourage and enhance food production while addressing a widening food security issue due to the pandemic.

Data on the Philippines, which already logged the highest number of people in Southeast Asia suffering from moderate to severe lack of consistent access to food before the pandemic, showed worsened numbers as the quarantines dragged on for months.

Over 20 million Filipinos now face acute hunger, a circumstance exacerbated by the destruction brought about by typhoons that induced floods and landslides, destroyed property, and disrupted livelihoods.

The government stopped releasing funds to provide food rations to urban families affected by the lockdowns. This forced many to find other sources of income, the most apparent manifested by the increased number of vendors on side streets selling just about anything.

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