By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The number of Filipino families who suffered from hunger has barely moved in the past three months, based on the second quarter of 2018 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.
In the nationwide survey conducted from June 27 to 30 with 1,200 respondents, 9.4 percent or an estimated 2.2 million families experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.
The measure of hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answered a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of food to eat.
It is 0.5 points below the 9.9 percent or an estimated 2.3 million families in the first quarter of 2018 survey conducted in March.
SWS said this is only the third time hunger has been in the single-digit range since March 2004.
It noted that hunger went up by seven points in Metro Manila and four points in Mindanao but down 3.7 points each in Visayas and Mindanao.
It further explained that the 9.4 percent quarterly hunger is the sum of 8.1 percent (1.9 million families) who experienced moderate hunger and 1.3 percent (294,000 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 refers to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months.
The few who did not state their frequency of hunger were classified under moderate hunger.
Moderate hunger fell by 0.4 points, from 8.6 percent in March to 8.1 percent in December. This is the lowest since the 7.9 percent in June 2017.
Meanwhile, severe hunger was unchanged at 1.3 percent in both in March and June. This is the lowest since the 1.2 percent in September 2003.