National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) director general Karl Kendrick Chua, has assured the government will continue to gradually reopen the economy, but without sacrificing public health safety, to mitigate hunger among Filipinos affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns.
During the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team’s visit to San Juan City, Chua said they need to make a “better balance” between the economy and public health issues.
He noted that the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey shows that nearly 25% of residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) are hungry, even as the situation outside the NCR appears less critical.
Chua, who also serves as Socio-economic Planning Secretary said the higher hunger rate in the NCR mat be attributed to the more stringent quarantine restrictions in the metropolitan region.
He noted that some 30% of the people in the NCR are unable to go to work and mobility is more restricted. “That is why we are working very hard to manage the risk and see how we can balance it better so we can gradually open up,” he added.
Chua pointed out that public transportation is imperative so people can commute and work or find jobs.