Student Vox


/ 7 February 2022

Around 2.5 million Filipino families across the country have experienced hunger due to the lack of food at least once during the last four months of 2021, this is according to Social Weather Stations (SWS) latest survey.

SWS explained that the data represents 10 percent of Filipino families nationwide, which is 3.6 below the 13.6 rates recorded in June 2021. Yet, the data is 11.1 points lower than 2020’s annual average of 21.1 percent.

According to SWS of the 10 percent, the 7.9 percent estimated at 2 million families experienced Moderate Hunger. While 2.1 percent at 534, 000 families experienced Severe Hunger.

Moderate Hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “ A Few Times” while Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often”.

“The resulting 13.5 percent average for the first three quarters of 2021 is less than last year but has not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels,” the SWS shared.

Local Community Effort to Alleviate Hunger

To help with the nationwide food shortage, Bataan National High School (BNHS) launched its gardening project. Led by the Technology and Livelihood Education Department (TLE). The project titled as, “PUNLA (Pagtatanim ay Ugaliin Nutrisyon sa guLAy ay kamtin)”

Headed by Sir Jonathan Nayre, a BNHS TLE teacher and Agriculture major. He saw that the covid pandemic almost stopped everything, except for food production. This inspired him to adapt the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Gulayan sa Tahanan. Bringing the project to the households of BNHS’s community. This consists of students, parents, teachers, department heads, faculty, staff, and the principal.

Each willing member of the BNHS community will receive two trays of various seedlings and seed packs. The likes of cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, tomato, and siling labuyo are some of their vegetables. BNHS also conducted a series of webinars to help teach its community the importance of agriculture and as a source of income.

Despite the project’s intention to help with food sustainability and livelihood, it had its share of difficulties. Nayre explained that one of its beneficiaries, the 4PC members, wasn’t invested in the project. Due to its limited budget, the incentives are monthly grocery items and a certificate of recognition.

Regardless of the setback, other members of the BNHS community supported the project. This would reach out to local barangays in Balanga City. The project led to strengthening local community bonds, after a year in lockdown. Planting seedlings in one’s household, people would share their harvest within the community and sell the rest. Nayre reported a benefitting recipient started to harvest and sell their vegetable plant. He disclosed that since the project started, it has been receiving a large amount of support. Local communities started donating seedlings and gardening equipment. While others donated monetary support.

With the overwhelming support that the project received. Nayre hopes to have BNHS’s feeding program as the next beneficiary after the project’s implementation till April 2022. Nayre saw that the project has helped not only the BNHS community but also even his neighborhood. He imparts a hopeful lesson that his students will learn to value the essence of agriculture.

“Halos lahat huminto lahat ng pangkabuhayan maliban na lang dito sa pagtatanim. Siguro mapupulot nila na aral nito, yung pagtatanim nila ay doon sila mabubuhay. Yung kinakain nila ay safe, chemical free yun ang palagi kong sinasabi sa webinar. Yun ang magiging source of income nila at the same time yung pagkain nila,” Nayre explained.