The number of Filipino families who experienced involuntary hunger decreased in the last quarter of 2015, bringing the full-year average to its lowest point in 11 years, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The survey showed that 11.7 percent of the respondents, or around 2.6 million families, said they did not eat at least once in the past three months. The figure is four percent lower than the 15.7 percent—equivalent to 3.5 million families—recorded in September last year.
The average hunger rate last year of 13.4 percent is 4.9 points below the 2014 average of 18.3 percent and was the lowest annual average hunger rate since 2004 when an average 11.8 percent was recorded.
The number of respondents who said they experienced “moderate hunger,” or lacking food to eat “only once” or “a few times” in the last three month decreased to 8.9 percent or two million families.
Meanwhile, 2.8 percent of those polled or about 621,000 families endured “severe hunger,” higher than in September, when 1.6 percent of respondents or an estimated 361,000 families said they had nothing to eat “often” or were “always” hungry.
The survey was conducted from December 5 to 8, 2015 among 1,200 adult heads of households nationwide.
Last week, the SWS noted that self-rated poverty among Filipino families steadied at 50 percent last quarter, similar to the 50 percent in the September survey, while those who rated themselves poor in terms of food—labelled the “food-poor”—declined by two points to 33 percent from 35 percent previously.
The biggest drops were in Metro Manila, in Luzon areas outside the national capital region and in Mindanao.