One million more Filipino families have joined the ranks of those who have experienced hunger due to lack of anything to eat in the past three months. That brings the number of hungry families to 4.9 million or 22.7 percent from the previous survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The survey result shows that the incidence of hunger was higher by 3.5 percent from the 19.2 percent (3.9 million families) recorded last March, SWS said.
The rest of Luzon had the highest number of hungry families with 2.5 million households, from 1.3 million last March.
The number of families who claimed they experienced hunger also increased in Metro Manila from 615,000 families (21.7 percent) to 692,000 families (23.7 percent), and in the Visayas from 580,000 households (15 percent) to 869,000 households (21 percent).
Meanwhile, overall hunger declined in Mindanao from 1.4 million families (29.2 percent) to 834,000 families (17 percent).
Survey questions about household hunger were directed to 1,200 respondents/family heads, using the phrase "experienced hunger, and did not have anything to eat (nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain)."
The SWS-BusinessWorld nationwide survey was fielded over June 28-30.
The result of overall hunger is a contrast from the lower number of poor Filipino households. SWS said it went up from 39 percent or an estimated 7.9 million food-poor Filipinos last March.
SWS explained the contrasting figures on hunger and poverty is that the "hungry proportion rose, even though the self-rated poor proportion fell between March and June 2013, because hunger rose sharply among the poor."
An estimated 10.4 million families or 49 percent said they are poor in the June survey. SWS noted that this is down from about 10.6 million households or 52 percent last March.
SWS also noted that the "hungry proportion of the poor is always higher than that of the non-poor."
The survey also found that moderate hunger, which refers to those experiencing it only once or a few times, increased to 17.3 percent (3.7 million families) from 15.6 percent (3.2 million families) in March.
Meanwhile, severe hunger, which refers to those who experienced it often or always, increased to 5.4 percent (1.2 million families) from 3.6 percent (726,000 families).