By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The number of Filipino families who experienced hunger has subsided in the past three months, based on the third quarter of 2019 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.
In the nationwide survey conducted from September 27 to 30 with 1,800 respondents, the SWS found that 9.1 percent or an estimated 2.3 million families experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.
SWS explained that involuntary hunger is experienced by a family due to lack of food to eat.
The latest figure is a recovery from the 10 percent or an estimated 2.5 million in June 2019, following an increase from the 9.5 percent or about 2.3 million families in March 2019.
The decrease in the national hunger rate in the third quarter, SWS said, was due to a decrease of 7.4 points in Metro Manila (from 15.7 percent to 8.3 percent), a decline of 1.2 points in the rest of Luzon (from 9.3 percent to 8.1 percent), a steady figure in Visayas (8.7 percent), and an increase of 2.9 points in Mindanao (from 9 percent to 11.9 percent).
SWS pointed out that the 9.1 percent national quarterly hunger rate in September is the sum of 7.4 percent (1.8 million families) who experienced “moderate hunger” and 1.7 percent (426,000 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.
Compared to June 2019 figures, moderate hunger went down from 8.7 percent (2.1 million families), while severe hunger went up from 1.3 percent (320,000 families).
Moderate hunger in Metro Manila went down from 13.7 percent in June to 7.7 percent in September. Likewise, severe hunger decreased from 2 percent to 0.7 percent.
In the rest of Luzon, moderate hunger declined from 8.3 percent to 6.8 percent, but severe hunger went up from 1 percent to 1.3 percent.
In Visayas, moderate hunger went down from 8 percent in June to 6.7 percent in September, while severe hunger increased from 0.7 percent to 2 percent.
Meanwhile, in Mindanao, moderate hunger went up from 7 percent to 9.1 percent. Severe hunger also rose from 2 percent to 2.9 percent.