The latest poll, conducted from Dec. 16 to 19 with the results released on Wednesday night, showed that 10.5 percent of Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger at least once between October and December 2018.
Michael Varcas
2018 hunger rate lowest in 15 years – SWS survey
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Some 2.4 million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger in the last quarter of 2018, fewer than the estimated 3.1 million recorded by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in the preceeding survey period. 

The latest poll, conducted from Dec. 16 to 19 with the results released on Wednesday night, showed that 10.5 percent of Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger at least once between October and December 2018. 

It eased from the 13.3 percent or 3.1 million families recorded in September last year.

The SWS said the average hunger rate last year was 10.8 percent, lower than 12.3 percent in 2017.

It is the lowest annual average since the seven percent recorded in 2003. 

“The 10.5 percent quarterly hunger in December 2018 is the sum of 8.9 percent (2.1 million families) who experienced moderate hunger and 1.5 percent (354,000 families) who experienced severe hunger,” the pollster said.

Moderate hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months. Severe hunger refers to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months, according to SWS.

Based on the survey, moderate hunger decreased by 1.7 points, from 10.6 percent in September to 8.9 percent in December. Severe hunger dropped by 1.3 points, from 2.8 percent to 1.5 percent.

The decline in hunger rate was due to the 10-point drop in the number of families who experienced involuntary hunger, from 18.3 percent in September to 8.3 percent in December. 

Quarterly hunger also fell in balance Luzon (from 12.7 percent to 9.7 percent), while it increased in Metro Manila (from 17.3 percent to 18.3 percent) and the Visayas (from six percent to 9.2 percent).

The survey used 1,440 respondents with a margin of error of +/-2.6 percent for national percentages. 

Palace: The best is yet to come

Malacañang attributed the poll results to the government’s efforts to address inflation and claimed that “the best is yet to come” for Filipinos.  

“This positive development is consistent with the earlier survey result showing a decrease among Filipino families who considered themselves as poor,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“The best is yet to come, as President Duterte continues to work double time in the remainder of his term to uplift more Filipino families out of poverty and hunger, toward a more comfortable and prosperous life for all,” he added. 

Panelo said the President’s efforts to tame inflation “have started to bear fruits.” 

“The Palace considers the improvement experienced by the survey participants in relation to their economic status as among the reasons why President Duterte continues to win the trust and approval of the Filipino people,” the presidential spokesman said. 

Panelo said the government is optimistic that the Philippines would enter the upper-middle income country status this year. – With Alexis Romero, Edith Regalado

INVOLUTARY HUNGER POVERTY SOCIAL WEATHER STATIONS
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