The Philippine government provides more help to Filipinos than their relatives, friends, private companies, or the church, according to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations.
The survey, conducted last December, revealed that 46 percent of households were helped by the government, followed by relatives at 41 percent, friends at 16 percent, private persons at eight percent, private companies at five percent, non-government organizations at two percent, and religious organizations at one percent.
The noncommissioned survey was conducted from December 3 to 6, 2016, with face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults nationwide—600 in Balance Luzon and 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao. Sampling error margins are at plus-minus three percent for national percentages, plus-minus four percent for Balance Luzon, and plus-minus six percent each for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The December 2016 findings on hunger were reported last January.
The SWS said 47 percent, or an estimated 10.5-million households, received assistance in the last quarter of 2016, most commonly in the form of money, and most commonly from the government.
On the other hand, 53 percent or an estimated 12-million households reported not having received any kind of help in the past three months, the SWS survey said.
In the past, the proportion of households receiving any form of help ranged from as low as 12 percent in September 2002 to as high as 52 percent in June 2014 and March 2015, the SWS said.
The latest figure of 47 percent is three points above the 44 percent recorded in December 2015.
This is higher than the 30-to-40-percent range from 2004 to 2011, and within the 44-to-55-percent range from 2012 to 2016, the SWS also said.
The SWS said the most common form of assistance was found to be money or “money-gifts” that was given at 51 percent, followed by food at 38 percent, money that was lent or loans at 24 percent, support for schooling or training at eight percent, non-food items at 4 percent, jobs at four percent, and any kind of service at one percent.
“Money-gifts were typically the most common form of help, having topped the list in 18 out of the 21 surveys since 2001, followed by money-loans and Food,” the survey said, whereas “Food topped the list only three times: 57 percent in December 2009, 35 percent in June 2008, and 33 percent in September 2001 when it tied with money-loans,” the SWS said.
“For only the fifth time out of the 21 surveys since 2001, the government was the most common source of help received by households in the past three months,” the SWS said.
The SWS said most of the time, such help came from relatives.
The 46 percent assisted by the government were estimated at 4.8 million, followed by beneficiaries of relatives at about 4.3 million; of friends at about 1.7 million; of private persons at about 856,000; of private companies at about 543,000; of NGOs at about 250,000; and of religious organizations at about 146,000.
Examining the sources of help, the December 2016 survey found that the government was the top source of help among households that were given support for schooling or training at 87 percent, any kind of service at 55 percent, and food at 51 percent, the survey said.
Relatives, on the other hand, were the top sources of help among households that received non-food items at 71 percent and money-loans at 41 percent, the SWS also said.
Relatives at 53 percent, and government at 51 percent, were the two most common sources of help among household that were given money-gifts, the survey said.
Friends were the top sources of help among households that were given jobs at 51 percent, the survey said.
The survey also found that the distribution of food assistance was directly related to hunger.
Among “Severely Hungry Households”, the most common sources of help were relatives at 51 percent, followed by the government at 37 percent, friends at 21 percent, private persons at 12 percent, and NGOs at 3 percent, the survey noted.
On the other hand, the government was the most common source of help in “Moderately Hungry Households” at 42 percent, and households that “did not experience hunger” at 47 percent.
“The measure of ‘Hunger’ refers to involuntary suffering due to lack of food to eat. ‘Moderate Hunger’ refers to those who experienced it ‘Only Once’ or ‘A Few Times’ in the last three months, while ‘Severe Hunger’ refers to those who experienced it ‘Often’ or ‘Always’ in the last three months,” the survey said.