3M families faced hunger last year, SWS poll shows
An estimated 3 million families, or 11.8 percent of families in the country, said they experienced involuntary hunger in the last quarter of 2022, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted on Dec. 10 to Dec. 14.
The December hunger rate was 0.5-point higher than the 11.3 percent, or around 2.89 million families, in October 2022 and slightly higher than the 11.6 percent, or 2.95 million families, in June last year.
Involuntary hunger is defined by SWS as being hungry and not having anything to eat at least once in the past three months.
In the latest survey, the hunger rate was highest in Mindanao at 12.7 percent followed by 12 percent in Visayas, 11.7 percent in Metro Manila and 11.3 percent in Luzon outside Metro Manila.
The slight increase in overall hunger between October 2022 and December 2022 was due to the increases in Visayas and Luzon outside Metro Manila amid decreases in hunger in Mindanao and Metro Manila, SWS said.
Hunger climbed by 5 points in Visayas from 7 percent or 336,000 families to 12 percent or 576,000 families. Meanwhile, a 1.7-point increase was recorded in Luzon outside Metro Manila, from 9.6 percent or 1.1 million families to 11.3 percent or 1.3 million families.
In Metro Manila, hunger fell by 4.6 points from 16.3 percent, or 558,000 families, to 11.7 percent, or 399,000 families. In Mindanao, hunger decreased by 2.6 points from 15.3 percent, or 893,000 families, to 12.7 percent, or 738,000 families.
The 11.8-percent hunger rate in December was the sum of 9.5 percent, or 2.4 million families, who experienced moderate hunger and 2.3 percent, or 599,000 families, who experienced severe hunger.
According to SWS, 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 past three months.
In the same survey round, SWS found that 51 percent of Filipino families rated themselves as poor in December 2022 while 19 percent considered themselves as not poor and 31 percent as borderline or placed themselves on a horizontal line dividing “poor” and “not poor.”
SWS said that hunger among nonpoor rose from 6.7 percent in October to 7.8 percent in December, while it fell slightly among the self-rated poor from 16.0 percent to 15.7 percent.
The SWS survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults age 18 years old and above nationwide. The survey had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.5 percentage points for national percentages, plus-or-minus 5.7 percentage points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
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