An estimated 3.1 million Filipino families, or 12.2% of total families in the country, experienced involuntary hunger—defined as being hungry and not having anything to eat—at least once in the past three months, a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said.
The hunger rate in the April 19-27, 2022 survey, released Monday, is 0.4 points higher than the 11.8% or estimated 3 million families in December 2021, and 2.2 points above the 10% (estimated 2.5 million families rate in September 2021.
However, it is 0.9 points below the 13.1% annual average for 2021, the survey firm said.
The non-commissioned national survey participated in by 1, 440 adults, was conducted using face-to-face interviews. Its sampling error margins are ±2.6% for national percentages and ±5.2% for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
Hunger was felt the most by families in Metro Manila (18.6%) followed by Mindanao (13.1%), Balance Luzon (11.7%), and the Visayas (7.8%). It has been highest in Metro Manila in 23 out of 97 surveys since July 1998.
According to the survey, the higher hunger incidence in the country was due to the increases in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, combined with decreases in Metro Manila and the Visayas region.
Compared to December 2021, the hunger rate in Balance Luzon increased from 9.2% to 11.7% in April 2022. It likewise rose in Mindanao from 12.2% to 13.1%.
However, it fell in Metro Manila, from 22.8% to 18.6%, and in Mindanao where it decreased from 9.7% to 7.8%.
Of the 12.2 percent, SWS said 9.3% or around 2.4 million families experienced “moderate hunger” and 2.9% or at least 744,000 families have experienced “severe hunger.”
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 same period.