By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, May 22, 2020, 10:15 am

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) reported in its May 4 to May 10 survey that 99 percent of Filipino households received food assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey stated that most food assistance came from the government, followed by food-help from relatives, private groups and institutions, peers, and private individuals. 

The poll also noted that 16.7 percent or about 4.2 million households experienced involuntary hunger from January to March “due to lack of food to eat.” The latest hunger incidence was “nearly double” the 8.8 percent or 2.1 million families registered in December 2019 and the “highest” since the 22 percent or 4.8 million recorded in September 2014, SWS said.

SWS attributed this spike in hunger rate to the increases in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace was saddened that there was a huge spike in the number of Filipino families who went hungry in the past three months and ensured that the government would extend all efforts to help Filipino households who are experiencing hunger amid the COVID-19 crisis.