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SWS: 1 in 5 Filipinos Have Gone Hungry in the Last 3 Months, Highest Since 2014

  • According to a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations, at least one out of every five Filipinos have experienced involuntary hunger in the last three months.
  • Based on the SWS survey, 20.9 percent or 5.2 million Filipinos went hungry at least once—the highest hunger rates under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and since a 22 percent rate in September 2014.
  • Visayas and Mindanao reported the highest rates at 27.2% and 24.2%, while Luzon and Metro Manila saw 17.8% and 16.3%.
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Metro Manila • According to a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations, at least one out of every five Filipinos have experienced involuntary hunger in the last three months.

Based on the SWS survey, 20.9 percent or 5.2 million Filipinos went hungry at least once—the highest hunger rates under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and since a 22 percent rate in September 2014.

It is 4.2 percentage points higher than the 16.7 percent hunger rate reported in May 2020, back when community quarantines stripped some individuals of income because telecommuting wasn’t an option to do their jobs.

According to the SWS report, the 20.9 percent hunger rate in July 2020 is the sum of 15.8 percent, or around 3.9 million families, who experienced Moderate Hunger and 5.1 percent, or around 1.3 million families, who experienced Severe Hunger.

Moderate Hunger refers to those who experienced hunger ‘Only Once’ or ‘A Few Times’ in the last three months. Meanwhile, Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it ‘Often’ or ‘Always’ in the last three months, the SWS report added.

All moderate and severe hunger increased from the May 2020 survey—from 13.9% to 15.8% for moderate hunger in July and from 2.8% to 5.1% for severe hunger.

Hunger rates increased despite the provision of financial assistance and in-kind goods by the government, and even though some industries were able to resume work. Respondents were asked whether their families experienced hunger because of a lack of food. Those who responded yes were asked further on the instance of their hunger.

Visayas and Mindanao reported the highest rates at 27.2% and 24.2%, while Luzon and Metro Manila saw 17.8% and 16.3%.

The SWS also found that hunger rates are higher among people living in lower socioeconomic status and with lower educational attainment. However, the survey also found that hunger increased irrespective of what the respondent’s educational achievement is—even if he completed tertiary education.

The survey involved an interview with 1,555 adult Filipinos via mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews, subdivided by population density, with 306 from Metro Manila, 451 from Balance Luzon, 388 from the Visayas, and 410 from Mindanao.

[Inquirer]

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