Social Weather Stations

2.7M Filipino families experience hunger in first quarter of 2023 – SWS

James Patrick Cruz

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

2.7M Filipino families experience hunger in first quarter of 2023 – SWS

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators march to the Department of Agriculture (DA) office in Quezon City, to commemorate World Food Day and to protest the surge in food prices in the country, on October 17, 2022. The protesters also called on President and DA Secretary Ferdinand Marcos Jr to “prioritize peoples’ right to food” amidst the climate and food crises.Jire Carreon/Rappler

Despite the slight improvement, the hunger incidence is still higher than the 8.8% hunger rate posted in December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic

MANILA, Philippines – Around 2.7 million Filipino families experienced hunger during the first quarter of 2023, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found.

A nationwide SWS survey conducted from March 26 to 29 among 1,200 adults found that 9.8of Filipino families experienced “involuntary hunger” or hunger due to lack of food at least once in the past three months.

The hunger rate for the first quarter of the year was slightly lower than the 11.8% hunger rate in December 2022 and the 11.3% hunger rate in October 2022. 

Despite the slight improvement, the hunger incidence was still higher than the 8.8% hunger rate posted in December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Involuntary hunger was highest in Mindanao at 11.7%, followed by Metro Manila at 10.7%, the Visayas at 9.7%, and balance Luzon at 8.7%.

The exact phrasing of the survey questions, which had Filipino as the source language, were:

  • “Nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan, nangyari po ba kahit minsan na ang inyong pamilya ay nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain? (Oo, Hindi) In English: In the last three months, did it happen even once that your family experienced hunger and not have anything to eat? (Yes, No).
  • “If hunger was experienced: Nangyari po ba ’yan ng MINSAN LAMANG, MGA ILANG BESES, MADALAS, o PALAGI? (Did it happen ONLY ONCE, A FEW TIMES, OFTEN, or ALWAYS?

SWS said the sampling error margins for this survey were ±2.8% for national percentages, ±5.7% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Since July 1998, involuntary hunger has been highest in Mindanao in 39 out of 101 surveys, SWS noted.

Out of the 2.7 million Filipino families, about 2.3 million of them experienced “moderate hunger” while the rest experienced “severe hunger.” 

SWS defines “moderate hunger” as those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the past three months, “while severe hunger” refers to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months.

The March 2023 survey also showed that  51% of Filipino families rated themselves as “poor,” while 19% said they are not poor. Meanwhile, 30% of the found themeselves on the “borderline.”

When the SWS survey was conducted, the inflation rate was 7.6%. Although, in January and February, inflation soared to 8.7% and 8.6%, respectively

The SWS said its questions on the family’s experience of hunger, self-rated Poverty, and self-rated food poverty were directed to household heads.

It added that these surveys were non-commissioned and were part of SWS’s initiative, and released as a public service.–

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