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Filipinos say their life worsened


A huge majority of Filipinos said their quality of life worsened in the last 12 months, the “worst trend in survey history,” the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said.

REMEMBERING RIZAL Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, celebrates his 159th birth anniversary on June 19, 2020. His monument stands at the Luneta Park in Manila. Rizal, who was nicknamed Pepe, was born on June 19, 1861 and was executed at the age of 35 on Dec. 30, 1896 for sedition by the Spaniards who ruled the country for three centuries. Rizal called for peaceful reforms, preferring to wage battle through his pen. His two famous works were Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed), which both exposed the social ills under the Spanish colonial rule. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

The result of the survey released on Thursday showed that 83 percent said their quality of life got worse (termed by SWS as “losers”), while 10 percent said it was the same (“unchanged”). Only 6 percent said it got better (“gainers”), compared to a year ago.


The poll was conducted from May 4 to 10 among 4,010 respondents.

SWS said the 83-percent proportion of losers in May 2020 is a “new peak” in the 37-year series of 135 surveys, breaking the previous record of 62-percent losers in June 2008.

“The 6-percent proportion of Gainers is a new all-time low, breaking the previous record of 9 percent Gainers in July 1985,” the polling firm said.

“The May 2020 Net Gainers score of -78 (Gainers minus Losers, correctly rounded), is the worst in survey history, breaking the previous record low -50 in June 2008. It plummeted from a very high +18 in December 2019,” it added.

Net gainers have been negative very often in survey history, according to SWS.

Since 1983, only 16 percent of the 135 readings were positive, while 84 percent were zero or negative.

“The negative May 2020 score, however, is a break from the positive trend of the past five years. Of the 20 observations between March 2015 and December 2019, 19 were positive,” SWS said.

“Notably, this already accounts for 90 percent of all positive scores recorded by SWS,” it added.

The low score of -78 of nationwide net gainers was attributed to the very low (-30 and below) scores in all areas.

The score was lowest in the Visayas at -82, followed by Mindanao at -80, Metro Manila at -77 and Balance Luzon at -75.
Scores in all areas dropped to all-time low.

SWS said the net gainers score was “equally bad” in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine areas at -77 and -78, respectively.

In mid-March, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered nonessential workers to stay at home in
Luzon for two months to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The government eased restrictions in Metro Manila and other areas on June 1, permitting more movement and business reopening.

But Duterte placed Cebu City back under ECQ until June 30 due to a spike in Covid-19 infections. Meanwhile, Talisay City, a component city under Cebu province, is under modified ECQ up to the end of June.

On the other hand, the same survey found that the net gainers score among working-age Filipinos was extremely low (-40 and below) among families that experienced moderate hunger at -89 and among families that experienced severe hunger at -84.

The polling agency also found that net gainers score among families that experienced involuntary hunger was -88, lower than the -75 among those whose families did not experience involuntary hunger.

Meanwhile, the net gainers score among those who have a job but are not receiving pay was at -81. This is followed by those who never had a job at -80, those who do not have a job at present but used to have one at -78, and those who have a job and are receiving full pay at -73.

Non-elementary graduates had the lowest net gainers score at -89, followed by elementary graduates at -82, junior high school graduates at -78 and college graduates at -65
The SWS survey, conducted through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interview, had sampling error margins of ±2 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, ±2 percent for Balance Luzon, ±3 percent for the Visayas, and ±3 percent for Mindanao.


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