SWS: Families suffering from hunger reach 7.6M

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    SOME 7.6 million families or about 30.7 percent of Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger in the last three months, the highest since March 2012, the September 17 to 20 mobile survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

    The survey, which involved 1,249 adult Filipinos with a sampling margin of error of ±3 percent, showed that 30.7 percent claimed to have experienced hunger in the last quarter, composed of 22 percent (up from 15.8 percent) or an estimated 5.5 million families that said they experienced moderate hunger and 8.7 percent (up from 5.1 percent on July) or an estimated 2.2 million who said they suffered severe hunger.

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

    Reacting to the latest SWS results, Cabinet Secretary and concurrent Zero Hunger Task Force head Karlo Nograles reiterated the government is committed to achieve zero hunger by 2030.

    Nograles, in his Karlos Nograles Live program over Facebook on Saturday night, said the national food policy – which will be contained in the roadmap the government is undertaking to achieve zero hunger by 2030 – will be launched by October 16.

    It aims to ensure food production and availability, food accessibility and affordability, and the abundance of nutritious food to improve the health of Filipinos including fighting malnutrition and stunted growth, among others.

    The latest total hunger rating is higher than July’s 20.9 percent rating and the highest since the March 2012 rating of 23.8 percent. It had also been rising since the December 2018 hunger rating of 8.8 percent followed by the May 2020 hunger score of 16.7 percent, and July 2020’s 20.9 percent.

    SWS found that the total hunger was due to the increases of 6 to 13.5 percentage point increases across the different geographical locations, with the highest hunger rating recorded in the Visayas at 40.7 percent up from July’s 27.2 percent.

    Mindanao recorded the second highest hunger rating at 37.5 percent (up from 24.2 percent in July), followed by Metro Manila with 28.2 percent (up from 16.3 percent), and Luzon at 23.8 percent (up from 17.8 percent).

    SWS said hunger was also found to be the highest among households of non-elementary graduate respondents (47.7 percent up from 35.6 percent), followed by households of elementary graduate respondents (35.9 percent up from 26.8 percent), households of junior high school graduate respondents (30.9 percent up from 20.9) and households of college graduate respondents (15.8 percent up from 8.9 percent).