AN estimated 3.9 million Filipino families said they experienced hunger in the first three months of the year, according to the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The number represented 17.8 percent of the 1,200 respondents surveyed nationwide by SWS in the first quarter of 2014.
The number of families who said they had nothing to eat is “marginally lower” as compared to the 18.1 percent in December 2013.
The latest SWS survey showed that at least 3.3 million Filipino families experienced moderate hunger, meaning they had nothing to eat ‘’only once’’ or ‘’a few times.’’
A total of 615,000 families or 2.8 percent, representing an increase of 0.1 point from the last survey, said they experienced severe hunger.
Hunger rate in Metro Manila significantly dropped by 12.3 points to 12 percent, representing an estimated 356,000 families.
In Balance Luzon, it rose by 4.3 points to 20 percent or representing an estimated 1.9 million families.
In the Visayas, the hunger rate declined by 0.8 point to 16.7 percent, represent-ing an estimated 701,000 families.
In Mindanao, it declined by 1.7 points to 18 percent, or an estimated 898,000 families.
Moderate hunger declined in Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.
The moderate hunger rate in Metro Manila decreased by 9.3 points to 9 percent; in Visayas by 1.6 points to 12.7 percent; and in Mindanao by 0.6 point to 16.7 percent.
It rose by 3 points to 17 percent in Balance Luzon.
Severe hunger fell in Metro Manila by 3 points to 3 percent and one point to 1.3 percent in Mindanao. It rose by 0.8 point to 4 percent in Visayas and 1.3 points to 3 percent in Balance Luzon.
Among the poor, hunger increased by 3 points to 27.5 percent.
Hunger among the ‘’not poor/on the borderline’’ fell by 3.2 points to 7.1 percent.
It rose among the ‘’food poor’’by 0.4 point to 30.8 percent while hunger among the ‘’not food poor/on the borderline’’ stayed at 9.6 percent.
The SWS survey, the results of which were first published by BusinessWorld, was conducted on March 27-30 and involved face to face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.
The sampling error margins used were ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages.