UCA News


Number of poor Filipinos going hungry drops

Quarterly survey result comes as the World Bank predicts a drop in the Philippines' poverty rate

Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Updated: November 05, 2019 06:46 AM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Number of poor Filipinos going hungry drops

Many families living in urban poor communities in the Philippines have reported experiencing hunger most of the time. (Photo by Jire Carreon)

Share this article :
The number of Filipinos experiencing hunger has dropped, according to a survey by independent pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The drop comes as the World Bank also predicts a drop in the poverty rate in the country.  

Results of the SWS survey for the third quarter of the year revealed that an estimated 2.3 million Filipino families, or 9.1 percent, experienced hunger as a result of poverty.

According to SWS, moderate hunger is when families may experience hunger a few times over the course of three months. Severe hunger is when families feel hungry often or all the time during the same period.

The latest survey was an improvement from the 10 percent, or an estimate of 2.5 million families, in June, following an increase from 9.5 percent or about 2.3 million families in March.

Caritas Manila welcomed the drop and expressed hope that the decline would be sustained. "That's great news," said Father Anton Pascual, executive director of the social action arm of the Manila Archdiocese.

What is more important is for the "factors leading to the decrease to be sustained" to ensure the eradication of hunger in this country, he said.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 27-30 among 1,800 heads of households from across the country.

The latest figure of 9.1 percent is the sum of 7.4 percent or an estimate of 1.8 million families who experienced moderate hunger and 1.7 percent or about 426,000 families who experienced severe hunger.

Compared to the June figures, moderate hunger went down from 8.7 percent or about 2.1 million families while severe hunger went up from 1.3 percent or about 320,000 families.

A World Bank report released last month noted that amid easing inflation and rising incomes, the poverty rate in the Philippines will likely fall below 20 percent next year.

The report projected poverty incidence in the Philippines at 20.8 percent by the end of 2019, down from 26 percent in 2015, the latest comparable full-year date from the Philippine government.

The fall comes "as real wages continue to rise and employment continues to expand towards non-agriculture wage employment," the report said.

The latest poverty incidence figure is equivalent to 23.1 million poor Filipinos, down from the 28.8 million below the poverty line three years ago.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."