Food and Ayuda Narratives during the Pandemic in Remote and Small Island Communities in Northern Iloilo, Philippines


food insecurity
subjective well-being
small and remote Islands
the Philippine

How to Cite

Pavo, R., Badayos-Jover, M. B. P., & Bagsit, F. (2024). Food and Ayuda Narratives during the Pandemic in Remote and Small Island Communities in Northern Iloilo, Philippines. Southeastern Philippines Journal of Research and Development, 29(1), 77-94.


Food insecurity and access to ayuda, or government-initiated social protection programs, were essential concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. While the needs in urban city centers are fairly attended to by government instrumentalities, the question of how food and survival issues in small and remote island communities are addressed warrants equal attention. In this paper, the people’s narratives in remote and small island communities are investigated to assess how individuals survive and can be subjectively well during the pandemic. Through focus group discussions, three activities were conducted: community map making, Lamesa activity, and ayuda/basket activity participated by representatives from the seven barangays in remote island communities in Northern Iloilo in May 2023. As a result of the FGDs, this paper concluded the following insights: (1) Rice is a key resource as it indicates a household’s food security and subjective well-being at the time of the pandemic, (2) Cash or money in the Ayuda program of the local government is important as it allows households to access food and improve its stock of food supplies, (3) Having alternative financial resources is important as the island communities are mainly dependent on fishing as its core economic activity, and (4) Volunteer work for the community forms part of the people’s subjective well-being despite the limitations experienced with regards to food and financial resources.


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