Self-rated hunger lowest in 10 years – SWS

Job seekers search through available work and fill up forms during a job fair in Manila. The country’s unemployment rate jumped to a three-year high 7.5 percent in April, the statistics office said on Tuesday, despite a 7.8 percent annual GDP growth in the first quarter, the fastest pace in Asia. (MNS photo)

Job seekers search through available work and fill up forms during a job fair in Manila. The country’s unemployment rate jumped to a three-year high 7.5 percent in April, the statistics office said on Tuesday, despite a 7.8 percent annual GDP growth in the first quarter, the fastest pace in Asia. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Self-rated hunger in the country slid further in the second quarter of the year and posted its lowest level since May 2005, the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

The survey, which was first published in the BusinessWorld newspaper, showed that 12.7 percent of the respondents or about 2.8 million families said that they experienced “involuntary hunger” at least once during the past three months.

The second quarter hunger was 0.8 percent lower than the 13.5 percent hunger recorded in March. SWS said that it is the lowest hunger number since the 12 percent posted in May 2005.

The poll results showed that 10.8 percent of the respondents, or 2.4 million families, experienced “moderate hunger” (became hungry “only once” or “few times”) while 1.9 percent or 431,000 families said that they experienced “severe hunger” (became hungry “often” or “always”) during the past three months.

Among geographic areas, Metro Manila posted the highest percentage of hungry families, with 18.3 percent or about 553,000 families saying that they experienced hunger. The second quarter figure was a 5.6 percent increase from 12.7 percent recorded last March.

Hunger in Balance Luzon dipped to 10.7 percent (estimated 1.1 million families) from 14.3 percent (estimated 1.4 million families).

In the Visayas, hunger increased to 11.7% (estimated 499,000 families) from March’s 11% (estimated 470,000 families).

Meanwhile in Mindanao, hunger remained at 14.3 percent, the lowest hunger number recorded in the area since September 2011.

In a statement, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the Aquino administration’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) can be credited for the continuous decline of hunger in Filipino households.

“The program is an example of the government’s commitment to the Filipino people, as it embodies concrete investments in human development, empowering beneficiaries and their families to better care for themselves,” Valte said.

She also said the administration’s initiative of lowering inflation also contributed to the reduction of hungry families.

The survey was conducted from June 5 to 8 with 1,200 respondents nationwide. It has sampling error margins of three percent for national percentages and 6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. (MNS)

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