More Filipinos became hungry in the second quarter of the year, with 15.2 percent of households or about 3.4 million Filipinos saying they experienced hunger at least once, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
In a survey released on Friday, the SWS said hunger incidence went up in its June survey compared with 13.7 percent or 3.1 million families in the first-quarter survey conducted in April.
Of the 15.2 percent hunger rate, 13.2 percent or an estimated 3 million families said they experienced “moderate hunger” or suffered from involuntary hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the second quarter.
Some 446,000 families or 2 percent said they suffered from “severe hunger” or felt hunger “often” or “always.”
The SWS said “moderate hunger” rose 1.6 percentage points from April’s 11.6 percent, while “severe hunger” barely moved from 2.1 percent.
It noted that a decline in Mindanao’s hunger rate was offset by increases elsewhere, and that the severity of such experience steadied across the country.
“The measure of hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of food to eat,” the SWS said.
The survey also showed that hunger eased in Mindanao to 13.3 percent or an estimated 687,000 families in June, from 19 percent or an estimated 978,000 families in April.
But hunger worsened elsewhere, as shown by the 5.4-percentage-point increase in the Visayas, from 10.3 percent or 449,000 families in April to 15.7 percent or an estimated 681,000 families in June. The SWS said it was the worst reading since December 2014’s 16.4 percent.
The survey also found that hunger incidence in Balance Luzon also went up by three points, from 12.3 percent or 1.2 million families to 15.3 percent or 1.5 million families. It was also the worst hunger rate since December 2014’s 18.3 percent.
In Metro Manila, the hunger rate was also up by three points, from 14.0 percent or 429,000 families in April to 17.0 percent or 521,000 families in June. This matched the rate in December 2015, but was the worst since the 18.3 percent recorded in the survey conducted in September that same year.
The SWS conducted the survey from June 24 to 27 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.
The survey had sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
Results of the poll were first published in BusinessWorld on Friday.