At least 5.2 million or 20.9 percent of Filipino families have experienced involuntary hunger at least once since the lockdown in March 2020 imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19, results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) mobile survey showed.
Involuntary hunger is defined as hunger due to lack of food to eat.
The SWS mobile survey was conducted nationwide from July 3 to 6, 2020.
The SWS poll was conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing of 1,555 adult Filipinos aged 18 years old and above nationwide.
Of the 1,555 respondents, 306 were from the National Capital Region, 451 from Balance Luzon, 388 in the Visayas, and 410 in Mindanao.
The sampling error margin is ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±5% for the Visayas, and ±5% for Mindanao.
It also revealed that 20.9 percent figure is a 4.2 point-increase from 16.7 percent of Filipino families who experienced involuntary hunger in May 2020.
The number is also a 12.1 point-increase from 8.8 percent in December 2019.
Of the 20.9 percent who experienced involuntary hunger, 15.8 percent or 3.9 families suffered from moderate hunger.
Around 1.3 million families or 5.1 percent of the families experienced severe hunger.
The SWS defined moderate hunger as those who experienced hunger only once or a few times in the last three months.
Severe hunger, on the other hand, referred to those who experienced hunger often or always in the last three months.
Likewise, moderate hunger increased to 15.9 percent in July from 13.9 percent in May.
The 15.9 percent who experienced moderate hunger this month is the highest percentage recorded since moderate hunger logged in 17.6 percent in September 2014.
The percentage of those who experienced severe hunger also increased to 5.1 percent in July from 2.8 percent in May.
The 5.1 percent who experienced severe hunger is also the highest percentage recorded in that category since the percentage of those who suffered from severe hunger reached 5.4percent or 1.2 million families in June 2013.
Since June 1, Metro Manila and other urbanized cities have been placed under eased quarantine measures to allow 75 percent of the workforce of each company to physically go back to work and 10 percent to 50 percent of the mass transport to operate again amid the COVID-19 pandemic
The eased quarantine protocol measure, however, is yet to offset the losses brought about by the enhanced community quarantine implemented from March to May 2020, a protocol which bans non-essential work and mass transport to prevent COVID-19 transmission./Stacy Ang