Hunger up in Metro Manila, Mindanao in Q2 2018 – SWS

Sofia Tomacruz
In contrast, hunger in Balance Luzon and the Visayas went down in the 2nd quarter of 2018, according to a Social Weather Stations survey

FEEDING PROGRAM. Children line up for free ensaymada and juice in Baseco, Manila on July 4, 2018. President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed a law establishing a national feeding program to address hunger and undernutrition. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The number of families experiencing hunger rose in Metro Manila and Mindanao in the 2nd quarter of 2018, based on a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in June.

Hunger in Metro Manila increased from 6% in March to 13% in June, while hunger in Mindanao rose from 7.3% in March to 11.3% in June.

In contrast, hunger in Balance Luzon decreased from 11% in March to 7.3% in June, and hunger in the Visayas dropped from 13% in March to 9.3% in June.

Nationwide, an estimated 2.2 million families or 9.4% experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the 2nd quarter of the year.

Of the 2.2 million families, about 1.9 million said they experienced “moderate hunger” while about 294,000 said they experienced “extreme hunger.”

SWS indicated hunger as “involuntary” as respondents were asked if it were due to lack of food.

The polling firm defined “moderate hunger” as those who had no food to eat “only once” or “a few times” in the last 3 months.

On the other hand, “severe hunger” was defined as those who “often” or “always” experienced hunger in the last 3 months.

Single-digit range

The 9.4% in the June survey maintained the downward trend of hunger overall. (READ: Self-rated hunger in PH returns to downward trend at 9.9%)

Involuntary hunger was in the single-digit range only 3 other times: March 2004 (7.4%), June 2017 (9.5%), and March 2018 (9.9%).

Among the “self-rated poor,” hunger fell from 16.7% in March to 12.6% in June – the lowest since September 2015.

But among the “non-poor,” hunger rose from 4.9% in March to 6.5% in June.

The latest survey was conducted from June 27 to 30, through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide. It had a sampling error margin of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Respondents were asked: “In the last 3 months, did it happen even once that your family experienced hunger and not have anything to eat?”

Those who answered that they experienced hunger were asked further: “Did it happen only once, a few times, often, or always?” –

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at