More Filipinos claim to have experienced hunger even as fewer think they are poor, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) report showed.
Filipinos who experienced having nothing to eat in the last three months rose to 21 percent from 18.4 percent in May, the think tank said in its latest Social Weather Survey originally published in BusinessWorld Friday.
This translates to an estimated 4.3 million households, SWS said, deriving from the results of a nationwide survey of 1,200 adults from Aug. 24 to 27.
The hunger trend bucked the drop in the number of Filipinos who claimed to be poor in the same survey, to 47 percent or an estimated 9.5 million families from 51 percent in May.
But the results were not incompatible since "hunger rose at the same time that poverty fell... because of an increase in the hunger rate among the poor, as well as among the non-poor," SWS was quoted in BusinessWorld as saying.
It added: "At any one point in time, hunger is always greater among the poor, but from one point to another, the hunger rates among the poor and non-poor can change markedly."
Spurring the overall hunger spike was an increase in "moderate hunger" or experiencing having nothing to eat only once or a few times, which grew to 18 percent from 13.7 percent in the last report.
This increase was not offset by a decline in "severe hunger", or always experiencing having nothing to eat, to 3 percent from the previous 4.8 percent.
Although it topped the 14-year average of 14.4 percent, food poverty is still lower than the record 23.8 percent in March this year.
Metro Manila posted the sharpest increase in overall hunger, jumping 10 percentage points to 26 percent in August.
Overall hunger was still highest in Mindanao at 30.3 percent, however, while Visayas registered a hunger rate of 17.3 percent and the Luzon area outside Metro Manila, 16 percent.
Placed side-by-side with self-rated poverty results, the new figures show that moderate hunger increased among the poor, non-poor, food poor or not food poor.
Severe hunger meanwhile declined for the same sectors.
"As a concept, poverty allows for various degrees of deprivation. Those who also suffer from hunger are more deprived than those who simply suffer from poverty," SWS was quoted as saying.
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