By Leslie Ann Aquino
The result of a survey showing that 83 percent of Filipinos consider religion as very important in their lives shows how deeply religious Filipinos are, retired Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said on Tuesday.
The prelate even expects the percentage to still go up due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This survey was done before the COVID-19 outbreak. With the plague inflicted on us, I surmise that this percentage will go higher till almost 100 percent,” said Bastes.
A calamity, he said, is a blessing in disguise because people are reminded that it is God who controls life on earth.
“Not only Filipinos, but the majority of human beings will realize that religion is important when disaster strikes,” Bastes said.
“Even without the COVID-19, Filipinos today are deeply religious because we have been endowed with the Christian faith for 500 years.” he added.
Ozamis Archbishop Martin Jumoad said the survey shows how important faith is to Filipinos.
“Our faith is really part of our being,” he said.
“Man is grounded on the other. Meaning , man is not complete when he cannot express his religious convictions publicly. It is as if something is lacking. That is why because of this COVID-19, when we are told to stay at home, this creates a nostalgia, a longing to go to church and pray together,” added Jumoad.
The Fourth Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey showed that 83% of adult Filipinos say religion is very important in their lives, 7% say it is somewhat important, 3% say it is not very important, and 19% say it is not at all important.
According to SWS, the latest figure of 83% is a new record-high that surpassed the previous record of 82% in December 2016.
The survey was conducted from December 13 to 16, 2019 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults.