SWS: 3.1 million Filipino families suffer from hunger in Q4 2016

Jodesz Gavilan
The latest figure is higher than the 3rd quarter's estimated 2.4 million families

HUNGER. Archie Bello, a farmer from North Cotabato, has very few crops left to harvest from a 2-hectare rice field a month after PAGASA declared a weak El Niño in the Philippines. File photo by Karlos Manlupig/Greenpeace

MANILA, Philippines – An estimated 3.1 million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger at least once during the 4th quarter of 2016, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey reported.

Published first on BusinessWorld on Tuesday, January 24, survey results showed that 13.9% of respondents suffered from involuntary hunger from November to December 2016. This is 3 points higher than 10.6% or an estimated 2.4 million families during the 3rd quarter survey conducted in September. 

It is also 2.2 points more than December 2015’s 11.7% or estimated 2.6 million families.

Moderate hunger – not having something to eat “only once” or “a few times” – in the last 3 months affected 10.9% or an estimated 2.5 million families. It is almost 2 points higher than September’s 9.1% or 2.1 million families.

Meanwhile, 3% or an estimated 673,000 families experienced severe hunger – going hungry “often” or “always” – an increase from the previous results of 1.5% or 329,000 families.

Hunger rates increased in all areas

The hunger rate – the sum of moderate hunger and severe hunger rates – increased in the last 3 months of 2016 in all areas in the Philippines.

In Metro Manila, the hunger situation rose by 5.7 points from September’s 7.3% or 225,000 families to 13% or 399,000 families in the last quarter of 2016.  

The hunger rate also increased by 3.3 points in Balance Luzon to 15% or 1.5 million families from 11.7% or 1.2 million families in the previous survey.

The number of hungry families in the Visayas also climbed by 3.7 points. From 13% or 565,000 families in September, the hunger rate is now 16.7% or 724,000 families. 

Meanwhile, in Mindanao, the latest hunger rate rose by 1.7 points to 10% or 515,000 families from 8.3% or 429,000 families. 

The survey was conducted from December 3 to 6, 2016 via face-to-face interviews among 1,500 adults nationwide with sampling error margins of ±3 points for national and ±6 points for Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao, and ±4 points in Balance Luzon. – 

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.