MANILA – The number of Filipino families who claimed to have experienced hunger in the past three months hardly changed, the latest survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed.
The first quarter survey, which was first published on BusinessWorld, found that 17.8 percent of the 1,200 respondents surveyed nationwide - representing an estimated 3.9 million families - claimed to have experienced having nothing to eat in the past three months.
The latest hunger survey result is marginally lower than the 18.1% recorded last December.
SWS said moderate hunger - experiencing having nothing to eat ''only once'' or ''a few times'' - dipped by 0.4 point to 15 percent, equivalent to 3.3 million families.
On the other hand, severe hunger – experiencing hunger ''often'' or ''always'' – rose by 0.1 point 2.8 percent (615,000 families).
Hunger rate in Metro Manila drops
The survey noted that in terms of region, Metro Manila's hunger rate significantly dropped by 12.3 points to 12 percent, representing an estimated 356,000 families.
Hunger declined by 1.7 points to 18 percent in Mindanao (est. 898,000 families), and 0.8 point to 16.7 percent in the Visayas (est. 701,000 families).
In Balance Luzon, however, hunger rate rose by 4.3 points to 20% (est. 1.9 million families).
Meanwhile, moderate hunger in Metro Manila declined by 9.3 points to 9 percent; in Visayas by 1.6 points to 12.7 percent; and in Mindanao by 0.6 point to 16.7 percent. Moderate hunger rose by 3 points to 17 percent in Balance Luzon.
On the other hand, severe hunger fell in Metro Manila by 3 points to 3 percent; one point to 1.3 percent in Mindanao. It rose by 0.8 point to 4 percent in Visayas and 1.3 points to 3 percent in Balance Luzon.
Hunger increase among the poor
SWS said 27.5 percent of people who consider themselves poor experienced hunger, marking an increase of 3 points.
Meanwhile, hunger among the ''not poor/on the borderline'' fell by 3.2 points to 7.1 percent.
Hunger among the ''food poor'' rose by 0.4 point to 30.8 percent, while hunger among the ''not food poor/on the borderline'' stayed at 9.6 percent.
The SWS survey, conducted on March 27-30, involved face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide. The sampling error margins used were ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages.