Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hunger - One in five, or 3.8 million Filipino families

SWS: Hunger hits record high, afflicts 3.8M Pinoy families

Hunger hit a new record peak nationwide as one in five, or 3.8 million Filipino families, had experienced having nothing to eat in September 2007. This was the result of the latest survey of the creditable pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS), where the national percentage of families having experienced nothing to eat rose to a high of 21.5 percent.

SWS, which published on Monday the results on BusinessWorld (, said this was a “dramatic" reversal of gains in June where hunger fell to 14.7% from 19% in February 2007 and November 2006. It added the 21.5% was almost 10 points above the 11.8% average for the 38 hunger surveys it had conducted quarterly starting mid-1998. This was despite government’s implementation of anti-hunger programs like the food-for-school program and the Gulayan ng Bayan to encourage backyard farming.

Earlier, President Arroyo claimed she herself experienced hunger, but was told that the hunger in the SWS surveys refer to involuntary hunger.

The highest rise involved moderate hunger, referring to those who experienced it “only once" or “a few times." It rose to a record 17.4% in September from 12.5% in June. Counted in this category were those who did not state their frequency of hunger. Severe hunger, meaning it was experienced “often" or “always," rose to 4.1% from 2.2% in June. However, it remained below the record of 6% notched in March 2001.

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