Hungry Pinoys highest so far under Marcos government

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Hungry Pinoys highest so far under Marcos government
An aerial view of the Marikina River taken yesterday shows Marikina residents on one side, with those living in Quezon City on the other. Nearly half of Filipino families considered themselves poor during the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The number of Filipino families experiencing hunger under President Marcos reached its highest in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

In the Dec. 8 to 11 survey, 12.6 percent of respondents said their families experienced involuntary hunger.

This result was the highest since June 2021 when the hunger rate reached 13.6 percent.

In September 2023, it was at 9.8 percent.

Involuntary hunger means being hungry and not having anything to eat at least once in the past three months.

The fourth quarter hunger rate resulted in an average of 10.7 percent
 in 2023, still below the 11.7 percent average in 2022 and 13.1 percent in 2021.

The pre-pandemic average in 2019 was 9.3 percent.

The December 2023 hunger rate is composed of 11.2 percent of respondents who said they experienced moderate hunger (from 8.4 percent in September) and 1.4 percent who experienced severe hunger (from 1.3 percent).

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

Based on the survey results, the hunger rate increased in most areas, except in Metro Manila where it dropped by almost five percentage points.

It was highest among respondents from balance Luzon at 14.3 percent (from 10.2 percent), followed by those in Metro Manila at 12.7 percent (from 17.3 percent), Mindanao at 12 percent (from 6.7 percent) and the Visayas at 9.3 percent (from 6.7 percent).

The average hunger rate by area was highest in Metro Manila last year at 14.1 percent (down from the 15.3 percent average in 2022), followed by those in the rest of Luzon at 11.2 percent (from 11.1 percent), Mindanao at 9.2 percent (from 13. 8 percent) and the Visayas at 8.8 percent (from 8.1 percent).

According to SWS, the hunger rate rose sharply among those who rated their families as “poor,” from 7.7 percent in September 2023 to 20.1 percent in December 2023.

It fell among “non-poor” respondents, from 10.4 percent to 5.9 percent.

Hunger rate also rose sharply among “food poor” respondents or those who classified their families as poor based on the food they eat, from seven percent to 25.5 percent.

It fell among “non-food poor” respondents, from 11 percent to 6.5 percent.

The December 2023 survey found that 47 percent of respondents rated their families as “poor,” while 20 percent said they were “not poor.”

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