, November 30, 2022

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3.1M Families Go Hungry in First Quarter 2022


  •   7 min reads
3.1M Families Go Hungry in First Quarter 2022
By Social Weather Station
  • Moderate Hunger 9.3%, Severe Hunger 2.9%

The national Social Weather Survey of April 19-27, 2022, found that 12.2% of Filipino families, or an estimated 3.1 million, experienced involuntary hunger – being hungry and not having anything to eat – at least once in the past three months.

The April 2022 Hunger rate is 0.4 points above the 11.8% (estimated 3.0 million families) in December 2021, and 2.2 points above the 10% (estimated 2.5 million families) in September 2021 [Chart 1, Table 1].

However, it is 0.9 points below the 13.1% annual average for 2021 [Chart 2].

Hunger rises in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, falls in Metro Manila and the Visayas

The experience of Hunger is highest in Metro Manila at 18.6% of families, followed by Mindanao at 13.1%, Balance Luzon (or Luzon outside Metro Manila) at 11.7%, and the Visayas at 7.8%. It has been highest in Metro Manila in 23 out of 97 surveys since July 1998.

The 0.4-point rise in Overall Hunger between December 2021 and April 2022 is due to increases in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, combined with decreases in Metro Manila and the Visayas [Chart 3, Table 2].

Compared to December 2021, the incidence of Hunger rose by 2.5 points in Balance Luzon, from 9.2% (est. 1.0 million families) to 11.7% (est. 1.3 million families).

It rose by 0.8 points in Mindanao, from 12.2% (est. 703,000 families) to 13.1% (est. 761,000 families).

However, it fell by 4.2 points in Metro Manila, from 22.8% (est. 770,000 families) in December 2021 to 18.6% (est. 636,000 families) in April 2022.

It fell by 1.9 points in the Visayas, from 9.7% (est. 462,000 families) to 7.8% (est. 373,000 families).

Moderate Hunger 9.3%, Severe Hunger 2.9%

The 12.2% Hunger rate in April 2022 is the sum of 9.3% (est. 2.4 million families) who experienced Moderate Hunger and 2.9% (est. 744,000 families) who experienced Severe Hunger.

Moderate Hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “Only Once” or “A Few Times” in the last three months. Meanwhile, Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the last three months.

In December 2021, Moderate Hunger was 9.2% (est. 2.3 million families), and Severe Hunger was 2.6% (est. 657,000 families).

In Metro Manila, Moderate Hunger fell by 3.9 points from 16.9% in December 2021 to 13.1% in April 2022, while Severe Hunger fell by 0.3 points from 5.8% to 5.6% [Chart 4, Table 3].

In Balance Luzon, Moderate Hunger rose by 1.9 points from 6.4% to 8.3%. However, Severe Hunger rose by 0.6 points from 2.8% to 3.3% [Chart 5, Table 4].

In the Visayas, Moderate Hunger fell by 1.1 points from 8.3% to 7.2%, while Severe Hunger fell by 0.8 points from 1.4% to 0.6% [Chart 6, Table 5].

In Mindanao, Moderate Hunger fell by 0.3 points from 10.8% to 10.6%. However, Severe Hunger rose by 1.1 points from 1.4% to 2.5% [Chart 7, Table 6].

Hunger rises among the Self-Rated Non-Poor, the Self-Rated Food-Poor, and the Non-Food-Poor families

The national Social Weather Survey of April 19-27, 2022, the latest quarterly national survey finalized by SWS, found 43% of Filipino families rating themselves as Mahirap or Poor, 34% rating themselves as Borderline Poor (by placing themselves on a horizontal line dividing Poor and Not Poor), and 23% rating themselves as Hindi Mahirap or Not Poor (“First Quarter 2022 Social Weather Survey: 43% of Filipino families feel Poor; 34% feel Borderline Poor, 23% feel Not Poor,” May 18, 2022, www.sws.org.ph).

On the other hand, based on the type of food they eat, the April 2022 survey found 31% of families rating themselves as Food-Poor, 45% rating themselves as Borderline Food-Poor (by placing themselves on the horizontal line dividing Food-Poor and Not Food-Poor), and 24% rating themselves Not Food-Poor

From December 2021 to April 2022, the rate of Overall Hunger (i.e., Moderate plus Severe) stayed at 17.6% among the Self-Rated Poor. However, it rose slightly among the Non-Poor (Not Poor plus Borderline Poor) over the same period, from 7.5% to 8.1% [Chart 8].

At the same time, the rate of Overall Hunger rose slightly among the Self-Rated Food-Poor, from 21.0% in December 2021 to 21.8% in April 2022. It also rose slightly among the Non-Food-Poor (Not Food-Poor plus Borderline Food-Poor) from 7.6% to 7.9% [Chart 9].

Rates of Hunger among the Self-Rated Food-Poor are always higher than rates of Hunger among the Self-Rated Poor at any point in time.

Survey background

The First Quarter 2022 Social Weather Survey was conducted from April 19-27, 2022, using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Face-to-face is the standard interviewing method for Social Weather Stations; the only exceptions were early in the pandemic when movement restrictions made face-to-face impossible and mobile phone interviews were conducted. Normal face-to-face field operations resumed in November 2020. The sampling error margins are ±2.6% for national percentages and ±5.2% for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

The area estimates were weighted by the Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2022 to obtain the national estimates.

The SWS survey questions on the family’s experience of Hunger, Self-Rated Poverty, and Self-Rated Food Poverty are directed to household heads. These items are non-commissioned and are included on SWS’s initiative and released as a public service.

Hunger. The exact phrasing of the survey questions (the source language is Filipino; English translation included) on Hunger was:

Nitong nakaraang tatlong buwan, nangyari po ba kahit minsan na ang inyong pamilya ay nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain? (OO, HINDI) [In the last three months, did it happen even once that your family experienced hunger and not have anything to eat? (YES, NO)].

IF EXPERIENCED HUNGER: Nangyari po ba ‘yan ng MINSAN LAMANG, MGA ILANG BESES, MADALAS, o PALAGI? [Did it happen ONLY ONCE, A FEW TIMES, OFTEN, or ALWAYS?]”

Moderate Hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “Only Once” or “A Few Times” in the last three months, while Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the last three months.

Self-Rated Poverty and Self-Rated Food Poverty. In 2020, Self-Rated Poverty and Self-Rated Food Poverty were fielded only once because only in November 2020 was SWS able to resume face-to-face interviewing since the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Face-to-face interviewing is necessary for these questions since they require showing the respondents a card with the words MAHIRAP and HINDI MAHIRAP, separated by a LINE, written on it [Figure 1]. The three SWS Mobile Phone Surveys earlier that year implemented purely oral survey questions.

The exact phrasing of the survey questions for Self-Rated Poverty and Self-Rated Food Poverty was:

Saan po ninyo ilalagay ang inyong pamilya sa kard na ito? [Where would you place your family in this card?] (SHOW CARD - DO NOT READ)

Tungkol naman sa klase ng pagkain ng pamilya ninyo, saan po ninyo ilalagay ang inyong pamilya sa kard na ito? [Based on the type of food eaten by your family, where would you place your family on this card?] (SHOW CARD - DO NOT READ)”

FIGURE  1

Half of the respondents are shown a card with the choices HINDI MAHIRAP (Not poor) and MAHIRAP (Poor), separated by a horizontal line (recorded as ‘Borderline Poor’), while the other half are shown a card containing the reverse order (negative showcard), to lessen response bias.

SWS employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations. This report was prepared by Leo S. Laroza and Marvin R. Ipac.


Chart 1

Chart 2

Chart 3

Chart 4

Chart 5

Chart 6

Chart 7

Chart 8

Chart 9

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3

Table 4

Table 5

Table 6


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