Fewer families hungry – SWS
Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - July 31, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - While poverty incidence in the Philippines increased in the second quarter of this year, the country’s hunger rate dropped during the same period, the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

The new SWS survey found 3.6 million Filipino families, or 16.3 percent of respondents, claiming they had experienced having nothing to eat in the past three months.

The new hunger rate was 1.5 points below the 17.8 percent (estimated 3.9 million families) recorded in March and 3.2 points below last year’s 19.5 percent annual average.

The SWS also said moderate hunger fell by 1.5 points to 13.5 percent or an estimated 3.3 million households in June. Moderate hunger refers to those who experience having nothing to eat “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months, the SWS said.

But severe hunger, which refers to those who experience having without food “often” or “always,” stayed at 2.8 percent.

“The 1.5-point fall in hunger... between March and June 2014 was due to falling hunger among the poor, food poor and non-food poor, combined with rising hunger among the non-poor,” the SWS noted.

The survey research institute also said that overall hunger fell by 6.4 points to 21.1 percent among the self-rated poor, but rose by 3.2 points to 10.3 percent among the not poor/on the borderline.

Meanwhile, hunger among the food-poor fell by 3.8 points to 27 percent and by 0.8 points to 9.6 percent among the not food poor/food borderline.

“At any point in time, hunger among the self-rated food poor is always greater than hunger among the self-rated poor,” the SWS said.

By area, overall hunger rose by 3.3 points to 16.3 percent (about 456,000 families) in Metro Manila. Moderate hunger rose to 12.3 percent, while severe hunger remained at three percent in the region.

In balance Luzon, overall hunger dropped by 5.3 points to 14.7 percent (1.4 million families). Moderate hunger also fell by 5.3 points to 11.7 percent and severe hunger stayed at three percent.

In the Visayas, hunger declined by two points to 14.7 percent (617,000 families), moderate hunger by 0.7 to 12 percent and severe hunger by 1.3 points to 2.7 percent.

Meanwhile, hunger rose by 3.3 points to 21.3 percent (1.1 million families) in Mindanao. Moderate hunger also went up by 2.3 points to 19 percent, while severe hunger rose by a point to 2.3 percent.

Results of the latest SWS nationwide survey, which was conducted from June 27 to 30, were published in the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday.

Palace refutes SWS poverty survey

Earlier this week, the SWS reported that the number of families claiming to be poor went up by 600,000 or 55 percent (about 12.1 million families) in June from 53 percent (estimated 11.5 million families) in March.

But Malacañang yesterday belied the result of the SWS poverty survey, saying it runs counter to the “formula” the Aquino administration has adopted. – With Delon Porcalla

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