MANILA, Philippines – The number of Filipino families experiencing involuntary hunger decreased in the first quarter of 2015, the latest survey from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed.
The SWS survey results, first published in BusinessWorld, showed that 13.5% of respondents, or around 3 million families, said they experienced having nothing to eat at least once in the first quarter of 2015 – a 3.7-point drop from December 2014’s 17.2% or 3.8 million families.
The latest national hunger level, based on the survey results, is the lowest since the 12% registered in May 2005.
The number of respondents who said they experienced “moderate hunger,” or lacking food to eat “only once” or “a few times,” decreased to 11.1% or 2.5 families in March 2015 from 13.2% or 2.9 million families in December 2014.
The survey results showed that 2.4% of respondents or about 522,000 families endured “severe hunger” for the first quarter of the year, much lower than in December 2014, when 4.1% of respondents or an estimated 888,000 families said they had nothing to eat “often” or were “always” hungry.
The survey was conducted from March 20 to 23, 2015, among 1,200 adult heads of households nationwide.
Biggest drop in hunger among Visayans
Among geographical locations, the biggest drop was in the Visayas – from 16.4% or 690,000 families in December 2014, to 11% or 470,000 families in March 2015.
In Metro Manila, the hunger rate was at 12.7% or equal to 382,000 families, lower than that of December 2014’s 14.7% or 438,000 families.
There was a 4-point decease in Balance Luzon – from 18.3% to 14.3%, or a drop of from 1.8 million to 1.4 million families.
The hunger rate for Mindanao for the first quarter of 2015 was at 14.3% or 726,000 families. In December 2014, this was at 17.3% or about 867,000 families.
‘Investments paying off’
Malacañang said in a statement on Tuesday, May 12, that the latest hunger survey results indicated that the “the administration’s investment in social services – in the form of budget increases – is truly paying off.”
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda also said that the administration’s flagship Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Philhealth coverage expansion have led to “a better quality of life for our people, equipping them to find better opportunities to lift up their families and ultimately, the nation.”
“The SWS survey’s finding that hunger has declined in all areas encourages us to continue our pursuit of inclusive growth. Presently, the wide network of our infrastructure and development projects reflects the extensiveness of our agenda for progress,” Lacierda said. – Rappler.com