An estimated 7.6 million households experienced involuntary hunger at least once during 2020's third quarter, marking the highest hunger incidence on the records of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
According to the SWS, the proportion of families who experienced involuntary hunger rose to 30.7 percent from July to September, surpassing the previous peak of 23.8 percent registered in March 2012.
The hunger trend has been rising since May 2020, reversing the steady decline from 23.8 percent in March 2012 to 8.8 percent in December 2019.
Broken down, the survey results showed that 22 percent or an estimated 5.5 million families experienced moderate hunger in the last few months.
The SWS defines moderate hunger as those who experienced hunger "only once" or "a few times" in the last three months.
Meanwhile, there were 8.7 percent or 2.2 million families who experienced severe hunger or those who experienced it "often" or "always" during the covered period.
Both the latest moderate and severe hunger rates also rose to record highs.
"Hunger incidence is higher among households of non-elementary graduate respondents," SWS said in an accompanying statement.
Overall among households of non-elementary graduate respondents hunger rose to 47.7 percent; among households of elementary graduate respondents it was 35.9 percent; among households of junior high school graduate respondents it 30.9 percent; and among households of college graduates it rose to 15.8 percent.
The SWS National Mobile Phone Survey, conducted from September 17 to 20, was a probability-based survey conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).
It took into consideration 1,249 adult Filipinos nationwide -- 309 in Metro Manila, 328 in balance Luzon, 300 in Visayas, and 312 in Mindanao.
It had a sampling error of ±3 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, ±5 percent for Balance Luzon, ±6 percent for the Visayas, and ±6 percent for Mindanao.
Just last month, an SWS poll found that adult joblessness also rose to a record high of 45.5 percent in July, also attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. — DVM, GMA News