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Phuket residents going hungry after local government assistance runs out




Residents in Phuket, particularly those living in and around the west coast townships, are reportedly going hungry as the government’s municipal budget to provide food has been depleted. Despite efforts to revive tourism in the area, thousands of people are still in need of donated food to survive and continue to queue up for donated food every day. A public relations staff member at the Patong municipality says, sadly, there is no budget to do any more food handouts in the near future and that there is no word on when or if there will be any more handouts.

The Phuket Town Deputy Mayor told The Phuket News that there has only been 2 handouts since the pandemic struck the tourist-reliant area. One handout was in March while the last handout was in June with the mayor saying 28 million baht was spent in those 2 handouts. Meanwhile a number of foreign residents in the town have been providing supplies for food queues for many months to help the impoverished residents.

One Phuket expat says the majority of those affected in the Patong area are Burmese migrant workers, with long queues for private donations still being seen on the streets of Patong. Such private donations are a result of charity events that are being held across the island with the assistance of dedicated volunteers.

Like Thailand’s Mental Health Department, many are concerned about the impact that food insecurity is having on those struggling. According to the department, 2,551 people had killed themselves across Thailand in the first half of 2020, a 22 % increase, year on year. In response, the National Reform Committee on Labour was ordered on September 11 to issue an amnesty on all outstanding debts, while providing financial support anyone who remains unemployed on the island.

At a recent meeting, other requests were made that include the government giving incentives for more Thais to visit the island and to use social security funds and soft loans as support for local business owners. For now, the situation is grim as Phuket residents are resorting to relying on private charities for food donations.

Phuket’s vice governor Phichet saysd that Phuket has been badly affected by the Covid crises, and delivered 3 requests to the Senate Standing Committee on Tourism… to extend the financial support by the Social Security Office for a further 3 months, allow workers from other provinces to transfer their house registration to Phuket so the Phuket government can receive more funds to provide better care for them, and ask the Ministry of Labour to provide assistance to at least 1,000 unemployed in Phuket.

Whilst the government unveiled plans for a “Phuket Model” to revive tourism on the island, it came to nothing, despite a high power delegation of Ministers and Bangkok officials who visited Phuket 2 weekends ago.

One such charity is set to record a song by leading Phuket musicians with the hopes of continuing to help feed those in need on the island.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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  1. Avatar


    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    This is sad. Nice job Prayut

    • Avatar


      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 11:11 am

      Prayut is not hungry.

  2. Avatar

    Geoff Quartermaine

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    If you think Phuket is bad, it’s worth considering poorer areas in Ysarn that have depended on remittances from service workers in Bangkok.

    If the RTG doesn’t wake up soon this is going to get very nasty. Thais are very resilient and resourceful. But people who are hungry lose tolerance quickly, especially for the elite who continue to flaunt their wealth.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Well they can go back to fishing and farming.
    This is what their fathers did before the felang came.
    The good old day of shining the seats of their pants in a taxi, and charging felangs three times what the Thais pay are over.
    Out they go at midnight with a light and a net and fish, and if the felangs ever do come back, maybe you will appreciate them being there.
    All I experienced in Phuket was rip offs, one after another.

    • Avatar


      Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      Toby Andrews Agree with you if we are talking about tuk tuk and taxi drivers. Throw in the Jet ski operators and bar workers.Phuket is the rip off scam capital of Thailand. I feel bad for all the other Thai people. I hope they can recover.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Remember to tell you the same when you will be in a similar situation, and that will may happen soon.

  4. Avatar


    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    I forgot to mention the restaurants who have 2 menu’s. One for Thai and one for foreigners. Typical fried rice for foreigner might be 180-200 baht and for Thai menu 80-100 baht. Walk past a table serving Thai people and you will see the same menu with different prices.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Solution number 1, allow stranded retirees back. 2 – open the borders and manage the virus, looking after the aged and vulnerable. There are worse things to be scared of than this virus.

  6. Avatar


    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 9:53 am

    The government can just cut up the subs and distribute the pieces. Oh, sorry, wrong kind of sub.

  7. Avatar


    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Mixed feelings here. I know there are people suffering in Thailand but for the last decade, I’ve been ripped off left right and centre. The baht is very strong, the king and military Government wealthy beyond any reasonable explanation and the Chinese Government stands shoulder to shoulder with the Thai Government. The Thais can help themselves quite well enough, so that’s what the Government should do; devalue the currency, start using the fabulous sums tucked away and start thinking about who your friend really are.

  8. Avatar


    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    2,551 killed the selves in 6 months.
    Who kidding who ?
    I view all figures banded about by official s in Thailand as sceptical,
    So what the agenda here ?

  9. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    “the majority of those affected in the Patong area are Burmese migrant workers”
    …so what has this got to do with the Thai government? It’s like fake refugees paddling across to England from France or from Turkey to Greece pretending that they are fleeing a warzone.

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