A total of 9.8% of Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger – being hungry and not having anything to eat – at least once in the past three months, the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed.
The survey, conducted last September 28-October 1, 2023, showed the hunger figure is lower than the 10.4% in June 2023 and the same as the 9.8 percent in March 2023.
SWS said the experience of hunger was highest in Metro Manila at 17.3 percent as of September 2023, followed by Balance Luzon at 10.3 percent, the Visayas at 6.7 percent, and Mindanao at 6.7 percent of families.
It said incidence of hunger fell by 2.6 points in the Visayas, from 9.3 percent in June to 6.7 percent in September. It fell by 1.0 points in Balance Luzon, from 11.3 percent to 10.3 percent.
"However, it rose by 1.6 points in Metro Manila, from 15.7 percent to 17.3 percent. It hardly changed in Mindanao, moving from 6.3 percent to 6.7 percent," SWS said.
The SWS survey uses face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon (or Luzon outside Metro Manila), the Visayas, and Mindanao.
MODERATE HUNGER UP IN METRO MANILA
SWS said the 9.8 percent hunger rate in September 2023 was the sum of 8.4 percent who experienced Moderate Hunger and 1.3 percent who experienced Severe Hunger.
Moderate Hunger means a person experienced hunger “Only Once” or “A Few Times” in the last three months while Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the previous three months.
In Metro Manila, Moderate Hunger rose by 1.3 points from 12 percent in June 2023 to 13.3 percent in September 2023.
Severe Hunger in Metro Manila hardly changed from 3.7% to 4.0%.
In Balance Luzon, Moderate Hunger rose by 0.7 points from 8.3 percent to 9 percent, while Severe Hunger fell by 1.7 points from 3. percent to 1.3 percent.
In the Visayas, Moderate Hunger fell by 2.6 points from 8.3 percent to 5.7 percent while Severe Hunger stayed at 1 percent.
In Mindanao, Moderate Hunger rose by 0.7 points from 6 percent to 6.7 percent, while Severe Hunger moved from 0.3 percent to zero percent.
48 PERCENT OF FAMILIES RATE SELVES AS 'POOR'
The same survey also found 48 percent of Filipino families rating themselves as Mahirap or Poor, 27 percent rating themselves as Borderline (by placing themselves on a horizontal line dividing Poor and Not Poor), and 25 percent rated themselves as Hindi Mahirap or Not Poor
"On the other hand, based on the type of food eaten by their families, the September 2023 survey found 34% of families rating themselves as Food-Poor, 35% rating themselves as Food Borderline (by placing themselves on the horizontal line dividing Food-Poor and Not Food-Poor), and 31% rating themselves Not Food-Poor," SWS said.
The research firm said rate of Overall Hunger fell among the Self-Rated Poor, from 10.8 percent in June 2023 to 7.7 percent in September 2023, while it barely moved among the Non-Poor (Not Poor plus Borderline Poor) from 10.3% to 10.4%.
The rate of Overall Hunger also fell among the Self-Rated Food-Poor, from 9.4 percent to 7.0 percent while it hardly changed among the Non-Food-Poor (Not Food-Poor plus Borderline Food-Poor) from 10.8 percent to 11 percent.
Sampling error margins for the survey are ±2.8% for national percentages, and ±5.7% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.