This is from bayanihanpost.
The economic downturn plus the continuing high price of staples such as rice no doubt are contributing to this situation.
Hunger at new record-high 23.7% of families, Moderate Hunger at 18.5%, Severe Hunger at 5.2%
The proportion of families experiencing involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months reached a new record-high of 23.7%, or an estimated 4.3 million households, according to the final Social Weather Survey for 2008, fielded over November 28-December 1, 2008.The latest Hunger record is 11 points above the ten-year average of 12.6%. It has surpassed the previous record-high incidence of 21.5% in September 2007 [Chart 1, Table 1].Hunger has now been at double-digits for over four years, since June 2004. The Hunger average of 2008 is 18.5%, higher than the 2007 average of 17.9%. The measure of Hunger refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of anything to eat. Record-high Moderate Hunger, Severe Hunger upThe rise in Total Hunger by 5 points between September and December resulted from a 3-point increase in Moderate Hunger, combined with a 2-point increase in Severe Hunger.Moderate Hunger, referring to those who experienced it "Only Once" or "A Few Times" in the last three months, rose from 15.2% (estimated 2.7 million families) in September to a new record-high 18.5% (estimated 3.3 million families) in December. The latest score is nine points above the ten-year average Moderate Hunger rate of 9.2%. The few who did not state their frequency of Hunger were also placed in this category. Severe Hunger, referring to those who experienced it "Often" or "Always" in the last three months, went from 3.2% (about 580,000 families) in September to 5.2% (about 940,000 families) in December. The new rate is two points above the ten-year average Severe Hunger rate of 3.3% [Table 1].Hunger jumps to record-highs in Mindanao and Metro ManilaThe proportion of households experiencing Hunger is now highest in Mindanao, with the latest figure jumping to 33.7% (estimated 1.4 million families), a new record-high in that area. It is now at record-high 23.3% (estimated 570,000 families) in Metro Manila, 20.7% (estimated 750,000 families) in the Visayas, and 20.0% (estimated 1.6 million families) in Balance Luzon [Chart 2, Table 2].Overall Hunger rose by 15 points in Mindanao, from 18.3% in September to 33.7% in December. It rose by 9 points in the Visayas, from 11.7% to 20.7%.It barely changed in Metro Manila, from 23.0% in the previous quarter to 23.3% now, while it stayed at 20.0% in Balance Luzon.Moderate Hunger rose by almost 12 points in Mindanao, from 16.0% in September to a record-high 27.7%, by 7 points in the Visayas, from 11.3% to a record-high 18.0%, and by 3 points in Metro Manila, from 15.0% to 18.3% [Charts 3 to 6, Tables 3 to 6]. It declined by 2 points in Balance Luzon, from 16.5% to 14.0%.In all areas, the latest Moderate Hunger rates remain higher than their ten-year averages.Severe Hunger declined by 3 points in Metro Manila, from 8.0% in September to 5.0% in December.It rose by almost 4 points in Mindanao, from 2.3% to 6.0%, by almost 3 points in Balance Luzon, from 3.5% to a new record-high 6.0%, and by 2 points in the Visayas, from 0.3% to 2.7%. The latest Severe Hunger figures remain higher than their ten-year averages in all areas except Visayas, where its latest score of 2.7% was slightly lower than its ten-year average of 3.1%.Survey Background The SWS survey questions about household hunger are directed to the household head, using the phrase "nakaranas ng gutom at wala kayong makain" or "experienced hunger, and did not have anything to eat." The Fourth Quarter of 2008 Social Weather Survey was conducted over November 28-December 1, 2008 using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao, and 600 in Balance Luzon (sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao, and ±4% for Balance Luzon). The area estimates were weighted by National Statistics Office medium-population projections for 2008 to obtain the national estimates.The quarterly Social Weather Surveys on household hunger are not commissioned, but are done on SWS's own initiative and released as a public service, with first printing rights assigned to BusinessWorld.