SWS: Hunger in Philippines eases in 4th quarter

THE number of Filipino families experiencing involuntary hunger in the last quarter of 2015 has decreased, according to the fourth quarter survey on hunger of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Monday.

The survey, which was conducted from December 5 to 8 last year, showed that 11.7 percent of 1,200 respondents, or an estimated 2.6 million families said they had nothing to eat at least once in the past three months.

The latest figure was a four percentage points drop from 15.7 percent or 3.5 families recorded in September 2015.

The SWS said the number of families experiencing “moderate hunger” or lacking food to eat “only once” or a few times” in the last three months decreased from September’s 14.1 percent or 3.1 million families to December’s 8.9 percent or two million families.

However, families who experienced “severe hunger” or had nothing to eat “often” or “always” in the last three months rose to 2.8 percent, from September’s 1.6 percent or 361,000 families.

The SWS noted the average hunger rate of 13.4 percent in 2015 was 4.9-percentage points below 2014’s 18.3 percent, and was the lowest annual average hunger rate since 2004’s 11.8 percent.

The hunger eased in Metro Manila (17 percent or 513,000 families from September’s 18.3 percent or 553,000 families), Balance Luzon (9.7 percent or 952,000 families from September’s 14.7 percent or 1.4 million families), and Mindanao (13 percent or 658,000 families from September's 21.7 percent or 1.1 million families).

On the other hand, hunger in Visayas increased to 11.3 percent or an estimated 484,000 from 9.3 percent or 399,000 families in September.

The survey used sampling error margins of ±3 percentage points for national percentage and ±6 percentage points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, and Mindanao. (Sunnex)

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