Caritas Philippines has expressed concern over the rising number of Filipinos suffering from hunger as it called on the government to address food security and stability in the country.
Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines said, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the continuous rise in the prices of commodities have resulted in the growing number of poor and hungry Filipinos.
"The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the Russia-Ukraine war, climate change, and our country’s dependence on imports have increased the prices of basic commodities. This situation made it even harder for Filipinos to afford healthy food hence the government should not be blind to the woes of its citizens and should implement programs to mitigate the situation. It is time to focus on the concerns that are closest to the stomachs of the Filipinos,” said Bishop Bagaforo over Radio Veritas.
Meanwhile, Fr. Tony Labiao, Caritas Philippines executive secretary said, they will continue to coordinate with the Department of Agriculture to ensure that the food supply in all dioceses remains stable.
“As part of our policy on principled cooperation, we are partnering with the Department of Agriculture for programs to help our farmers in the dioceses to strengthen food production and promote sustainable agriculture and organic farming,” said Fr. Labiao
Meanwhile, the Church continues to implement its Holistic Family Feeding Program through Caritas Philippines which aims to feed and educate some 300 families in six dioceses on livelihood opportunities.
Data from the Social Weathers Stations showed some 2.9 families were reported to be suffering from hunger during the second quarter of the year. In addition, the poverty rate in the country is expected to reach 17.1 percent this year, said the World Bank.