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Philippines' involuntary hunger rises to 12.6% in December 2023 —SWS

The Philippines’ hunger incidence increased in the last quarter of 2023, results from the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showed. 

Based on the poll conducted from December 8 to December 11, the number of Filipino families that experienced involuntary hunger — or being hungry and not having anything to eat at least once in the past three months — grew from 9.8% in September 2023 to 12.6% in December 2023. 

Of the 12.6%, at least 11.2% of Filipino families experienced moderate hunger and 1.4% experienced severe hunger. 

Moderate hunger refers to 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 previous three months. 

The SWS survey attributed the spike to the increased hunger incidence in all parts of the country except Metro Manila. 

Balance Luzon — or the areas outside Metro Manila — reported the highest increase at 14.3%. It was followed by Metro Manila at 12.7%, Mindanao at 12.0%, and the Visayas at 9.3%. 

The hunger rate in Metro Manila declined from 17.3% to 12.7%. 

Meanwhile, the poll said the Philippines’ annual hunger rate also increased to 10.7% in December 2023 — below the year-on-year rate of 11.7% but still above the pre-pandemic hunger incidence rate of 9.3% in 2019. 

The fourth quarter SWS survey was conducted using face to face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide (300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao).  

The sampling error margins are ±2.8% for national percentages, and ±5.7% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

The survey was non-commissioned. —LDF, GMA Integrated News