The proportion of Filipinos experiencing involuntary hunger fell in the second quarter to the lowest level since 2004, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The poll, conducted from June 23 to 26, found that 9.5 percent or an estimated 2.2 million families missed a meal at least once in the past quarter, the lowest rate since March 2004’s 7.4 percent.
While the latest reading was the lowest in more than a decade, it generally steadied from the preceding month and from a year ago. The second-quarter figure was 2.4 points below the 11.9 percent (estimated 2.7 million families) logged in March 2017 and 5.7 points lower than June 2016’s 15.2 percent (3.4 million families).
SWS said the latest figure included those who experienced “moderate” and “severe” hunger.
Families who experienced involuntary hunger once or a few times in the last three months were categorized under “moderate” and those who were “often” or “always” hungry were classified under “severe.”
Moderate hunger dipped by 1.9 percentage points to 7.9 percent or an estimated 1.8 million families in June, while severe hunger slipped by 0.6 percentage points to 1.6 percent or an estimated 374,000 families. The latest figure was the lowest reading since September 2016’s 1.5 percent.
SWS said the results coincided with earlier surveys that showed an improvement in self-rated poverty and self-rated food poverty among Filipinos.
In a news conference, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said the latest SWS results reflected “significant headways in alleviating poverty and bringing prosperity in our first year in office.”
The SWS survey had 1,200 respondents. First published on Thursday in BusinessWorld, the poll had sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6 points for regional ratings.