Hunger eases to 15.9% of families in Q3 --SWS PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 October 2010 11:29

The proportion of families who experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months (July to September) eased by 15.9 percent or an estimated three million families, according to the latest survey of pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS).

This compared with over 20 percent of those families experiencing involuntary hunger overall recorded in the previous quarter ending June, SWS said.

The latest hunger figure is similar to the level of February 2009, and is two points above the 12-year average of 13.9 percent, SWS noted. Hunger has consistently been at double-digits for over six years, since June 2004, it added.

SWS undertook the survey on Sept. 24 to 27, interviewing face-to-face 1,200 adults from Mindanao to Luzon. It claimed the project was non-commissioned and was done as a public service.

SWS explained that “the measure of hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of anything to eat.”

The September survey also found that 48 percent, or an estimated nine million families, consider themselves as “mahirap” or poor, two points down from 50 percent in June.

Overall hunger fell by almost 10 points in Mindanao, from 26.0 percent (estimated 1.1 million families) in June to 16.3 percent (estimated 700,000 families) in September, and by almost 6 points in the Visayas, from 21.0 percent (estimated 790,000 families) to 15.3 percent (estimated 580,000 families).

The Self-Rated Poverty Threshold, or the monthly budget that poor households need in order not to consider themselves poor in general, remains sluggish for several years despite considerable inflation. This indicates that poor families have been lowering their living standards, or belt-tightening.

As of September, the median poverty threshold for poor households is P10,000 in Metro Manila, P9,500 in the rest of Luzon, P6,000 in the Visayas, and P5,000 in Mindanao.

In Metro Manila, in particular, the median poverty threshold went back to P10,000 as in 2000, even though the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen there by 60 percent since then.