Fewer Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger at the lowest rate in 15 years, a Social Weather Stations survey during the last quarter of 2019 revealed.
The hunger rate, or the percentage of Filipino families experiencing involuntary hunger or hunger because of the lack of food, dropped to 8.8 percent from October to December last year, the lowest mark since 2004, the SWS said in a statement.
The survey was conducted from Dec.13 to 16, and the December 2019 hunger rate is the lowest since the 7.4 percent posted in March 2004, the firm said.
The drop was significant because “earlier in 2019, quarterly hunger was 9.5 percent in March and 10.0 percent in June,” the SWS said. The annual average hunger rate for 2019 is 9.3 percent.
A total of 1,200 adults, with 300 from Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, were interviewed for the fourth quarter 2019 SWS Survey.
“The 8.8 percent quarterly hunger rate in December 2019 is the sum of 7.3 percent who experienced moderate hunger and 1.5 percent who experienced severe hunger,” the survey firm said.
Moderate hunger describes the condition of those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months. Severe hunger referred to those who experienced hunger “often” or “always” in the last three months.
The December 2019 quarterly hunger rates by area are 9.3 percent each for Metro Manila and Visayas, 6.3 percent for Balance Luzon, and 12.7 percent for Mindanao.
Hunger in Luzon fell, but rose in Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.
Hunger also fell among self-rated poor families and food-poor families, which the SWS were families whose household head rated their family as poor. Self-rated food-poor families are families whose household head rated the food that their family ate as poor.