THE NUMBER of Filipino families experiencing "involuntary" hunger increased to an estimated 10 percent in the second quarter of 2019, according to the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
This is roughly equivalent to 2.5 million, higher than the 2.3 million or 9.5 percent in March 2019.
"The rise in the nationwide hunger rate comes after a decrease of 3.8 percentage points within the previous three quarters. From 13.3 percent (estimated 3.1 million families in September 2018, it subsided to 10.5 percent (estimated 2.4 million families) in December, and then to 9.5 percent (estimated 2.3 million) in March 2019," the SWS said, citing its June 22 to 26 survey.
Around 8.7 percent or 2.1 million experienced "moderate" hunger, while the remaining 1.3 percent or estimated 320,000 families endured "severe" hunger.
"Moderate" hunger rose by 0.6 percentage points from 8.1 percent or estimated two million families in March 2019, while "severe" hunger" remained at 1.3 percent but was slightly higher than the 320,000 families posted in March.
The SWS said the rise in the hunger incidence happened only among self-rated poor (16.2 percent or estimated 1.8 million families from 11.9 percent or estimated 1.1 million families) and self-rated food poor (17.3 percent or estimated 1.5 million families from 14.2 percent or estimated 959,000 families).
The pollster noted an increase in Metro Manila (15.7 percent or estimated 520,000 families from 11.7 percent or estimated 387,000 families).
Hunger incidence, however, declined in Balance Luzon (9.3 percent or estimated one million families from 10.3 percent or estimated 1.1 million families), and the Visayas (8.7 percent or estimated 409,000 families from 10 percent or estimated 472,000 families).
The SWS interviewed some 1,200 adult Filipinos, using sampling error margins of ±3 percentage points for national percentages, and ±6 percentage points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. (SunStar Philippines)