Nationwide in the last quarter of 2008, 4.3 million families (23.7%) were experiencing involuntary hunger at least once during the period but this went down to 2.9 million families (15.5%) in the first quarter of 2009.
The SWS survey asked the household head if they experienced hunger, and did not have anything to eat (“nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain").
Overall Hunger takes into account Moderate Hunger (involuntary hunger experienced only once or a few times in the last three months) and Severe Hunger (often or always).
A huge drop was noted on “overall hunger” in Mindanao from an estimated 1.4 million families in December an estimated 490,000 families in February.
In Metro Manila, overall hunger went down from 570,000 families to 430,000 families; in the other parts of Luzon from 1.6 million families to 1.2 million; and in the Visayas from 750,000 families to 730,000.
Moderate Hunger declined by 18 points in Mindanao, from a record-high of 27.7% in the previous quarter to 9.7% now.
Severe Hunger in Mindanao also declined, from 6% in December to 2% in February.
The drop in hunger incidence in Mindanao may have been big from December 2008 to February 2009 but the 10-year period shows Mindanao still has the highest incidence. From 1998 to March 2009, Mindanao posted a 14.5% incidence of hunger. The National Capital Region posted 11.8%, Luzon at 12 and Visayas at 12.2.
Hunger incidence in Mindanao was at its lowest in October 1999 at 3.3% under the Estrada administration and at its highest at 33.7% in December last year under the Arroyo administration.
Under the Arroyo administration, the lowest incidence of hunger was recorded at 5.3% in September 2003 and May 2005. (MindaNews)