By Zeus Legaspi

Fewer Filipinos said they experienced hunger at least once in three months this quarter, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has found.

The average hunger among Filipino households is at 16 percent or an estimated four million families in November, a 15 percent drop from the record-high of 30.7 percent or over 7.6 million families in September, SWS said.

This seals the average hunger for the full year at a new record of 21.1 percent, beating the previous record of 2011 and 2012 at 19.9 percent, and double the average for 2019 which is at 9.3 percent.

The nationwide survey also found that incidence of hunger is highest in Manila, reaching 23.3 percent or an estimated 780,000 families, followed by Mindanao at 16 percent or an estimated 909,000 families, Balance Luzon at 14.4 percent or an estimated 1.6 million families, and Visayas at 14.3 percent or an estimated 674,000 families.

In comparison, hunger was at 40.7 percent or an estimated 1.9 million families in Visayas, 37.5 percent or an estimated 2.1 million families in Mindanao, 28.2 percent or an estimated 941,000 families in Metro Manila, and 23.8 percent or 2.6 million families in Balance Luzon in September.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that the reopening of the country’s economy caused this drop in average hunger.

“Iyong pagbawas po ng kalahati sa hunger rate, ito po ay resulta ng paunti-unti nating pagbubukas ng ating ekonomiya pero may banta nga po na itong unti-unting pagbubukas eh baka maantala kung dadami po ang kaso ng Covid.”, Roque said.

The survey was conducted from November 21 to 25 through face-to-face interviews among 1,500 adults nationwide.