THE number of Filipino families experiencing involuntary hunger increased in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Friday.
The poll from September 15 to 23 among 1,500 Filipino adults nationwide found that 13.3 percent or around 3.1 million families experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months, up by 3.9 percentage points from the 9.4 percent or around 2.2 million families in June 2018.
The pollster noted that the September reading was the highest since the 15.9 percent in December 2017.
The 13.3 percent quarterly hunger was composed of 10.6 percent (around 2.5 million families) who experienced “moderate hunger” and 2.8 percent (about 643,000 families) who experienced “severe hunger.”
Moderate hunger refers to those who experienced it “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months, while severe hunger pertains to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months.
The few who did not state their frequency of hunger were classified under moderate hunger, the pollster said.
SWS said moderate hunger fell by 2.5 points, from 8.1 percent in June to 10.6 percent in September. This was the highest since the 12.2 percent in December 2017.
Severe hunger increased by 1.5 points, from 1.3 percent in June to 2.8 percent in September. This was the highest since the 3.7 percent in December 2017.
Hunger rose by 4.3 points in Metro Manila, from 13.0 percent (412,000 families) in June 2018 to 17.3 percent in September 2018.
It also increased by 5.4 points in Balance Luzon, from in 7.3 percent (758,000 families) in June to 12.7 percent in September.
Quarterly hunger, meanwhile, fell by 3.3 points in the Visayas, from 9.3 percent (419,000 families) in June to 6.0 percent in September.
It, however, rose by 7.0 points in Mindanao, from 11.3 percent (604,000 families) in June to 18.3 percent in September.
SWS noted that the 3.9-point increase in the quarterly hunger was due to “increases in the incidence of hunger among the self-rated poor and the self-rated non-poor.”
From June to September, quarterly hunger rose by 5.9 points among the self-rated poor, from 12.6 percent in June to 18.5 percent in September. This has been the highest since December 2017.
It also increased by 1.1 points among the non-poor (Not Poor plus Borderline) over the same period, going from 6.5 percent to 7.6 percent. This was the highest since December 2017.
Hunger also increased among the self-rated food poor, rising by 7.5 points from 14.8 percent in June to 22.3 percent in September. It also increased by 1.5 points among the Not Food-Poor/Food-Borderline, from 6.7 percent to 8.2 percent.
“At any one point in time, quarterly hunger among the self-rated food-Poor is always greater than Hunger among the self-rated poor,” SWS said.
The third quarter poll, conducted using face-to-face interviews, had sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, ±4 percent for Balance Luzon, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
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