Record-high of 30.7% of PHL families or 7.6M households experiencing hunger, reported by SWS

(File photo) Jeepney drivers wearing face masks queue up to receive food aid from a concerned resident on a road a in Manila on August 6, 2020. – The Philippines plunged into recession after its biggest quarterly contraction on record, data showed on August 6, as the economy reels from coronavirus lockdowns that have wrecked businesses and thrown millions out of work. (Photo by Lisa Marie David / AFP)


(Eagle News) – The number of families experiencing hunger reached a record high of 30.7 percent or an estimated 7.6 million households in the past three months of the virus pandemic, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The SWS explained that the proportion of families experiencing hunger, or hunger due to lack of food to eat at least once in the past three months, reached this new record high based on the SWS National Mobile Survey conducted from Sept. 17 to 20.

This even passed the previous peak of 23.8 percent in March 2012.

“The Hunger trend has been rising since May 2020, upsetting a previous favorable trend when Hunger steadily declined from 23.8% in March 2012 to 8.8% in December 2019,” the SWS said.

“Hunger in September 2020 was up by 9.8 points from 20.9% in July 2020, by 14.0 points from 16.7% in May 2020, and by a total of 21.9 points from 8.8% in December 2019,” it noted.

The SWS also noted a record-high moderate hunger at 22 percent equivalent to about 5.5 million families, and a record for severe hunger at 8.7 percent, or an estimated 2.2 million families.

In fact, the record high of 30.7 percent hunger rate last month is the sum of these two hunger incidences.

The SWS defined “Moderate Hunger” as 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.

“Moderate Hunger rose from 15.8% in July 2020 to a new record-high 22.0% in September 2020. This surpassed the previous record of 18.9% in December 2009,” it said.

“Severe Hunger rose from 5.1% in July 2020 to a new record-high 8.7% in September 2020. This surpassed the previous peak of 6.0% in March 200,” the SWS added.

These new high records occurred in the last three months of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

-New record-highs of hunger in Visayas, Mindanao and NCR-

The SWS survey in September also noted new record-highs in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Metro Manila

In fact, it said that the “9.8-point rise in the nationwide Hunger rate from July 2020 to September 2020 was due to increases in all areas, with new record-highs in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Metro Manila.”

Hunger rose in the Visayas region, up from 27.2% (estimated at 1.3 million families) in July 2020 to a new record-high 40.7% (estimated at. 1.9 million families) in September 2020.

“This surpassed the previous peak of 27.9% in December 2009 in this area,” the SWS said.

It also noted a higher hunger incidence “among households of non-elementary graduate respondents.”

The SWS September 17-20, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey was a probability-based survey conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) of 1,249 adult Filipinos (18 years old and above) nationwide.

According to the SWS, the primary question asked was: “Nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan, nangyari po ba kahit minsan na ang inyong pamilya ay nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain?”

(Eagle News Service)