By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
The number of Filipinos who experienced involuntary hunger—or hunger due to lack of food—dropped in the last quarter of 2019, the lowest in the last 15 years, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The SWS said that an estimated 2.1 million Filipino families suffered involuntary hunger in December 2019, based on a survey it conducted from December 13 to 16, 2019 among 1200 respondents.
In the said survey, 8.8 percent of Filipino families said that they experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months. The SWS said Friday night that this was a slight recovery from September 2019’s 9.1 percent or 2.3 million Filipino families.
The December 2019 hunger rate is the lowest in 15 years or since the 7.4 percent in March 2004, SWS noted. In March 2019, the rate was at 9.5 percent, and in June at 10.0 percent.
Mindanao recorded the most number who experienced hunger, with 12 percent of the total families there. Balance Luzon (all parts of Luzon except Metro Manila) had the least number, with only 6.3 percent.
The 0.3-point decline in the quarterly national hunger rate from September to December 2019 was due to a 1.8-point decrease in Balance Luzon, which was combined with increases of 1 point in Metro Manila, 0.6 point in the Visayas, and 0.8 point in Mindanao.
The hunger rate in December 2019 is the sum of 7.3 percent who experienced moderate hunger and 1.5 percent who experienced severe hunger, SWS said.
Moderate hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “Only Once” or “A Few Times” in the last three months. Meanwhile, severe hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the last three months.