More than 7 million Filipino households have experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months, hitting a new record-high according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The survey, conducted from September 17 to 20 among 1,249 respondents, showed that families who experienced involuntary hunger or hunger due to lack of food to eat reached a new record-high of 30.7 percent, or an estimated 7.6 million households.
SWS said that this surpassed the previous peak of 23.8 percent in March, 2012.
It added that since May 2020, the hunger trend has been rising, upsetting a previous favorable trend when hunger steadily declined from 23.8 percent in March 2012 to 9.3 percent in December 2019.
Hunger in September 2020 was up by 9.8 points from 20.9 percent in July 2020, by 14 points from 16.7 percent in May 2020, and by a total of 21.9 points from 8.8 percent in December 2019.
This month’s 30.7 percent hunger rate according to the SWS, is the sum of 22.0 percent or an estimated 5.5 million families who experienced Moderate Hunger and 8.7 percent or an estimated 2.2 million families who experienced Severe Hunger.
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.
Moderate Hunger rose from 15.8 percent in July 2020 to a new record-high 22.0 percent in September 2020. This surpassed the previous record of 18.9 percent in December 2009.
New record-highs were seen in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Metro Manila which attributed to the 9.8-point rise in the nationwide Hunger rate from July 2020 to September 2020.
Overall hunger rose in the Visayas, up from 27.2 percent or an estimated 1.3 million families in July 2020 to a new record-high 40.7 percent or an estimated 1.9 million families in September 2020. This surpassed the previous peak of 27.9 percent in December 2009 in this area.
It also rose in Mindanao, up from 24.2 percent or an estimated 1.4 million families in July 2020 to a new record-high 37.5 percent or an estimated 2.1 million families in September 2020. This surpassed the previous record of 33.7 percent in December 2008.
It rose in Metro Manila, up from 16.3 percent or an estimated 546,000 families in July 2020 to a new record-high 28.2 percent or an estimated 941,000 families in September 2020. This surpassed the previous record of 27.0 percent in December 2009.
It also rose in Balance Luzon, up from 17.8 percent or an estimated 2.0 million families in July 2020 to 23.8 percent or an estimated 2.6 million families in September 2020. This is the highest since the 24.3 percent in September 2014.
Data were gathered through mobile phone interviews of adult Filipinos (18 years old and above), randomly drawn from a database of mobile phone numbers compiled from SWS national and subnational representative face-to-face surveys since 2017.
SWS noted the sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±6% for the Visayas, and ±6% for Mindanao.