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Hunger rate in last quarter of 2019 lowest in 15 years —SWS

Hunger rates dropped to 8.8 percent during the last quarter of 2019, the lowest since 2004, according to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The survey, which was conducted from December 13 to 16, found that 8.8 % or 2.1 million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger or hunger because of the lack of food, at least once from October to December.

"The December 2019 hunger rate is the lowest since the 7.4% in March 2004. Earlier in 2019, quarterly hunger was 9.5% in March and 10.0% in June," said the SWS.

The annual average hunger rate for 2019 is 9.3 %.

A total number of 1,200 adults, with 300 from Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, were interviewed for the Fourth Quarter 2019 SWS Survey.

"The 8.8% quarterly hunger rate in December 2019 is the sum of 7.3% who experienced moderate hunger and 1.5% who experienced severe hunger," the survey firm said.

Moderate hunger describes the condition of those who experienced hunger "Only Once" or "A Few Times" in the last three months.  Severe Hunger referred to those who experienced hunger "Often" or "Always" in the last three months.

The December 2019 quarterly hunger rates by area are: 9.3 % each for Metro Manila and Visayas, 6.3 % for Balance Luzon, and 12.7 % for Mindanao.

Hunger in Luzon fell, but it rose in other areas such as Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.

Hunger also fell among self-rated poor families and food-poor families.

The SWS said that self-rated poor families were families whose household head rated their family as poor, while self-rated food-poor families are families whose household head rated the food that their family ate as poor. —LDF, GMA News