The July 3 to 6 poll found 79 percent of Filipino adults saying that their quality of life worsened compared to a year ago (called “losers” by the SWS) and eight percent saying it got better (“gainers”).
This resulted in a net gainers score (gainers minus losers) of -72, classified by the SWS as “catastrophic.”
Meanwhile, 12 percent of Filipinos said their quality of life was unchanged.
The quality of life was also “catastrophic” or a score of -50 and below across the country, the SWS said. It was lowest in the Visayas with a net score of -75, followed by balance Luzon at -74, Metro Manila at -71 and Mindanao at -65.
But the SWS said the scores in all areas improved from May 2020. The biggest improvement was in Mindanao, up from -80 in May, followed by the Visayas from -82, Metro Manila from -77 and balance Luzon from -75.
The SWS survey was conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews of 1,555 adult Filipinos, aged 18 and above, nationwide.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. assured the public that the government is working to improve the lives of everyone despite the recent developments while he continues to trumpet the administration’s good economic standing prior to the pandemic.
“We understand this public sentiment considering that our government economists have mentioned that prior to COVID-19, the Philippines was among the fastest growing economies in the region, with low and stable inflation and lowest ever rates of unemployment, underemployment and poverty,” he said. “The coronavirus has indeed adversely affected our economy and people’s livelihood and business.”
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported in June that the Philippines experienced a record-high unemployment rate of 17.7 percent or about 7.3 million Filipinos by April.
Its data also showed that 13 million Filipinos (representing 38.4 percent) had jobs but were not able to report to work. Nearly all of them attributed this disruption to COVID-19 regulations. The resulting lockdowns in numerous communities and industries also pushed the country’s economy into recession.
Roque echoed the statements of the country’s economic managers, who maintained that the Philippines can rise above the challenges caused by the pandemic.
To mitigate the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, he said government economists have prepared a whole-of-society program in a recovery plan called Recharge PH, which seeks to refocus, sharpen the design and accelerate the implementation of programs under the 2020 General Appropriations Act.
“We will implement Recharge PH within 2020 and into 2021 and will be incorporated in the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022,” he said, echoing again the statements made earlier by National Economic and Development Authority acting chief Karl Kendrick Chua at a briefing in Malacañang.
Roque reiterated that the government’s priority Build, Build, Build programs have also started, subject to health and safety protocols, to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
The Department of Labor and Employment expects the number of workers who will lose their jobs due to the pandemic to still increase. It also reported that 944 establishments have laid off workers in the first nine days of August as they downsize or shut their operations. – Christina Mendez
Helen Flores -The Philippine Star