MANILA - Fewer Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger in the first 3 months of 2017 compared to the last quarter of 2016, according to a survey by the Social Weather Station released Wednesday.
The March 25 to 28 poll showed that 11.9 percent or an estimated 2.7 million households missed a meal at least once in the past quarter. The figure is 2 percentage points below the 13.9% or 3.1 million families logged in the December poll.
Hunger affected 13.7 percent or some 3.1 million Filipino families in the first quarter of 2016.
The latest 11.9-percent hunger rating is comprised of 9.7 percent who said they experience "moderate hunger" and 2.2 percent who went through "severe hunger."
Ratings for "moderate hunger" and "severe hunger" fell by 1.2 and 0.8 percent, respectively, from the previous quarter, SWS said.
The pollster defined "moderate hunger" as those who experienced hunger "only once" or "a few times" in the last 3 months, while "severe hunger" refers to those who experienced it "often" or "always."
"The few who did not state their frequency of hunger were classified under moderate hunger," SWS added.
MORE MINDANAOANS HUNGRY
The same survey also revealed a drop in the hunger rate in all regions, except in Mindanao, the bailiwick of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The hunger rate in Mindanao jumped to 11.7 percent from December's 10 percent.
Moderate hunger in the island slid by 0.4 points to 9.3 percent, but severe hunger rose to its highest reading since December 2015 at 2.3 percentage, 2 points higher than the previous quarter's record-low 0.3 percent
Other regions recorded the following hunger rates:
- Metro Manila: 12 percent, down by 1 point;
- Balance Luzon: 11.3 percent, lower by 3.7 points; and
- Visayas to 13.7 percent, dropped by 2.3 points.
The SWS survey had 1,200 respondents who were interviewed between March 25 and 28. First published on BusinessWorld, the poll had sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6 points for regional ratings.