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SWS: Fewer hungry Filipino families

BY: Ellalyn V. Ruiz and Genalyn D. Kabiling

The number of Filipino families that experienced hunger in the past three months has decreased, according to the second quarter 2017 Social Weather Stations survey.

The nationwide survey conducted last June 23 to 26 among 1,200 respondents found out that 9.5 percent or 2.2 million families experienced hunger at least once in the past three months, the lowest since March 2004 and slightly lower than the 11.9 percent or an estimated 2.7 million families in March 2017.

The respondents were particularly asked, “Nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan, nangyari po ba kahit minsan na ang inyong pamilya ay nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain? Oo o hindi?”

According to SWS, “The measure of hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of food to eat.”

Those who experienced hunger were further asked, “Nangyari po ba ‘yan ng minsan lamang, mga ilang beses, madalas, o palagi?”

Moderate hunger slipped to 7.9 percent (1.8 million families) in June, while severe hunger dropped to 1.6 percent (374,000 families).

“Both moderate hunger and severe hunger fell between March 2017 and June 2017. Both have been steadily declining since December 2016,” the SWS noted.

According to SWS, the latest figures are consistent with the decline in self-rated poverty (from 19.6 to 13.6 percent) and self-rated food poverty (from 20.7 to 17.1 percent) between March and June.

Malacañang has welcomed the survey result but recognized that much remains done to further improve the plight of Filipinos.

“The Palace is pleased to announce the recent Social Weather Stations survey showing the lowest hunger level from among the Filipino families in 13 years,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

“We certainly made headways in alleviating poverty and bringing prosperity in our first year in office,” he said.