Fewer hungry Filipinos—SWSInquirer Research
Fewer Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger in the last three months, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
Results of the SWS survey conducted on June 3 to 6 and released Friday showed that only 15.1 percent of Filipino families went hungry in the second quarter compared to 20.5 percent in the previous quarter.
This means that 3 million families experienced hunger in the second quarter compared to 4.1 million families in the first quarter.
Lowest since ’07
Based on SWS data, the latest hunger rate is the lowest since June 2007, when the recorded figure was at 14.7 percent.
In its survey, SWS asked 1,200 respondents nationwide: “In the last 3 months, did it happen even once that your family experienced hunger and not have anything to eat?”
Those who answered in the affirmative were further asked: “Did it happen ‘only once,’ ‘a few times,’ ‘often’ or ‘always?’”
SWS classified experiencing hunger only once or a few times as “moderate hunger,” while going hungry often or always was categorized as “severe hunger.”
Nationwide, those who experienced moderate hunger decreased from 15.7 percent (3.2 million families) in March to 13.1 percent (2.6 million families) in June.
Those who experienced severe hunger fell from 4.7 percent (950,000 families) in March to 2 percent (403,000 families) in June.
By geographical area, overall hunger rates decreased in Luzon outside Metro Manila and Metro Manila, but rose in the Visayas and Mindanao.
From a record-high of 25 percent (2.2 million families) in March, overall hunger in Luzon outside Metro Manila went down by 15.3 points to 9.7 percent (845,000 families). This is the first time a single-digit figure was recorded in the area since the December 2004, based on SWS data.
Moderate hunger declined in the area from 18.7 percent to 7.7 percent, along with severe hunger percentage from 6.3 percent to 2 percent.
In Metro Manila, overall hunger fell from 20.7 percent (580,000 families) in March to 13 percent (366,000 families) in June—the lowest since the September 2006 record of 12.8 percent.
Moderate hunger in Metro Manila decreased from 16.7 percent to 11.3 percent, along with severe hunger from 4 percent to 1.7 percent.
On the other hand, those who experienced hunger in the Visayas rose from 14.7 percent to 21 percent. This is mainly due to the rise of moderate hunger in the area—from 9.7 percent to 18.3 percent. Severe hunger went down from 5 percent to 2.7 percent in June.
Those who went hungry in Mindanao also increased from 16.7 percent to 21.7 percent. Moderate hunger in the area increased from 14.7 percent to 20 percent, even as severe hunger decreased from 2 percent to 1.7 percent.
SWS used face-to-face interviews for the noncommissioned survey, which had a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.
As this developed, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario shrugged off the steep drop in the survey ratings of President Aquino.
The President “was elected with a very high mandate, a very solid public trust and the expectations were too high. And the country was in deep trouble (when he assumed his post last year),” noted Del Rosario.
Speaking during a luncheon for reporters covering the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Del Rosario pointed out that “it takes a while to solve the problems of this country, and so the ratings have caught up with reality.”
But the DFA chief said he has “great respect” for his boss, whom he described as a “nice guy, even-tempered, one who understands his economics thoroughly, inspired, and one who doesn’t lose his temper.”
Del Rosario, who assumed his post in February, disclosed that he “didn’t know the President until the time that he asked me to consider joining the Cabinet.” With a report from Jerry E. Esplanada