by Helen Flores (The Philippine Star), 14 Jul 2021
MANILA, Philippines — About 4.2 million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months, the latest Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) survey showed.
The poll, conducted from April 28 to May 2, found 16.8 percent or an estimated 4.2 million families who experienced involuntary hunger due to lack of food to eat.
This was 0.8 points above the 16 percent or about four million families in November 2020 but 4.3 points below the 2020 annual average of 21.1 percent, the SWS said.
The 16.8 percent hunger rate in May consisted of 14.1 percent (around 3.6 million families) who experienced moderate hunger and 2.7 percent (about 674,000 families) who experienced severe hunger.
Moderate hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months, while severe hunger pertains to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months.
Mindanao now has the highest incidence of hunger at 20.7 percent or an estimated 1.2 million families, followed by the Visayas at 16.3 percent (about 776,000 families), balance Luzon at 15.7 percent (around 1.8 million families) and Metro Manila in 14.7 percent (roughly 496,000 families).
In November 2020, hunger was at 23.3 percent (about 780,000 families) in Metro Manila, 16 percent (around 909,000 families) in Mindanao, 14.4 percent (an estimated 1.6 million families) in balance Luzon and 14.3 percent (about 674,000 families) in the Visayas.
In Metro Manila, moderate hunger and severe hunger were at 12 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, in May, compared to 16.7 percent and 6.7 percent in November 2020.
In balance Luzon, moderate hunger rose to 12.3 percent in May from 11.6 percent in November last year. Severe hunger also went up to 3.3 percent from 2.8 percent.
In the Visayas, moderate hunger increased to 14 percent from 10 percent, while severe hunger dropped to 2.3 percent from 4.3 percent.
In Mindanao, moderate hunger rose to 19 percent in May from 14.3 percent in November 2020, while severe hunger stayed at 1.7 percent.
The country’s hunger rate was at 8.8 percent or about 2.1 million families in a SWS December 2019 survey, or before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pollster said.
The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults, 18 years old and above, nationwide.