A new poll by the Social Weather Stations showed that an estimated three million families experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Conducted on December 10 to 14, the survey found that 11.8 percent of Filipino households experienced involuntary hunger, or being hungry and not having anything to eat, during the last three months of the year. That figure is slightly higher than the 11.3 percent obtained in a survey in October 2022, but it is lower than the 12 percent recorded in April.
SWS said the 11.8 percent hunger rate is the sum of the 9.5 percent who experienced “moderate hunger” – or those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times”, and the 2.3 percent who experienced “severe hunger” – those who experienced it “often” or “always.”
Hunger incidence was highest in Mindanao at 12.7 percent, as the pollster noted “it been highest in Mindanao in 38 out of 100 surveys since July 1998.”, followed by Visayas at 12 percent, Metro Manila at 11.7 percent and balance of Luzon at 11.3 percent.
The polling firm added that overall hunger rose among those who rated themselves as “non-poor” to 7.8 percent from 6.7 percent, and among “non-food-poor” to 11.8 percent from 7.4 percent.
Poverty and hunger go together hand in hand, and the results of the survey indicates that government’s efforts are still not enough as the number of people going hungry in this country are not decreasing. With the world expected to endure tough times ahead, as the situation is expected to get worse before it becomes better, government will have to do more to extract more Filipinos from the hunger that goes with poverty.
This means ensuring quality employment and livelihood opportunities are available, and for those who do not have access to it, government aid must be readily available to help the Filipino, no matter how resilient, through these difficult times.*