Jan 03, 2022 to Dec 29, 2022
Funding Agency:
Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Focus Area(s):
Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Management

Even before pandemic: nutritional status of Filipino children was already a serious concern, with Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) alerting the country in its Millennium Development Goals report that stunting rate of children under 5 had reached 33.4 percent up from 30.3 percent in 2013 (FNRI, 2016). Though the stunting rate improved somewhat by 2019, it still remained high at 28.8 percent (FNRI, 2019). The period 2018 – 2021 were periods of dramatic price increases. Food inflation was highest in 2018 at 6.7 percent, driven by price surges in rice, as well as meat, fish and seafood, and vegetables. Food price inflation softened in 2019 and 2020, as rice prices actually dropped in response to the rice tariffication law. However food prices again breached 4 percent largely due to meat price inflation, driven by pork supply shortfall due to African Swine Fever (ASF); also contributing to food inflation was fish and seafood, and vegetables. In March 2020, the COVID19 pandemic reached the Philippines. As a result of the COVID19 community quarantines and the global economic crisis, the Philippine economy underwent severe contraction in 2020. Though the economy recovered somewhat in 2021, GDP per worker is still lower by 5.6 percent compared to 2019. It can be surmised that the price increases and economic contraction has also had an adverse impact on food consumption and nutrient intake at the household level. There is however no information about how large these changes might be as a result of these economic changes. Moreover, it is likewise unclear how individual level food and nutrient intake has been affected, and ultimately, individual nutritional status. A study that establishes an empirical relationship between economic adjustments in the form of prices, income and expenditure, and government programs, and household and individual food consumption and nutrient intake, will provide a valuable input in the design of short- and long-term programs for addressing household food insecurity and malnutrition. The key policy issue is understanding how the food consumption and nutrient intake of various types of households in the Philippines respond to price increases, income and expenditure changes, and government programs.

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