4 out of 5 Pinoys say their quality of life worsened in past year — SWS

Published November 5, 2020, 1:37 PM

by DHEL NAZARIO and ARGYLL B. GEDUCOS

Four out of five adult Filipinos said their quality of life worsened in the past year, thus making it one of the worst trends in survey history according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The survey, conducted from September 17 to 20 found that 82 percent of adult Filipinos said their quality-of-life got worse (Losers), versus 11 percent that said it was the same (Unchanged), and six percent who said it got better (Gainers), compared to a year ago.

SWS said that the resulting Net Gainers score (percentage of Gainers minus percentage of Losers) of -76 for September 2020 is “catastrophic” (-50 and below).

It added that this score joins SWS’s worst trends in survey history, having recorded -78 in May and -72 in July during the COVID-19 crisis. The only other time the score reached catastrophic level was in June 2008 at -50, during rice and oil price hikes.

Malacañang is attributing the reported worsening quality of life of Filipinos to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused months of lockdown and unemployment.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after 82 percent of Filipino adults said their quality of life got worse in the past year, based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

In his Thursday presser, Roque said that that Palace is saddened by the outcome of the survey. However, he said that the rise of so-called “losers” was due to the current global health crisis.

“Siyempre po nalulungkot tayo diyan pero ‘yan naman po ay dahil sa pandemya (Of course we are saddened about that but that is due to the COVID-19 pandemic),” he said.

Roque, however, said that the Philippines will soon be able to get back on its feet, especially with the hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine.

SWS pointed out that the “catastrophic” characterization applies to all areas of the country. It is -80 in the Visayas, -76 in Metro Manila, -75 in Balance Luzon, and -74 in Mindanao. 

Compared to July 2020 figures, all areas experienced a worsening in their Net Gainers scores: Mindanao experienced the biggest drop of 9 points; the Visayas, five points; Metro Manila with four points; and Balance Luzon with one point.

The score hardly differs between those with a job and the jobless.

Net Gainers is significantly worse among those who did not graduate from college.

Among college graduates, the score is -64. Meanwhile, among those with less education, the score ranges from -72 to -83.  The score is worst among those who only finished up to some junior high school education 

It is -73 among those with a job, -77 among those who never had a job, and -79 among those who do not have a job at present but used to have one.

Hunger is significantly greater among Losers than the Gainers and the Unchanged.   

Among Losers, 34 percent experienced involuntary hunger (24 percent moderate, 10 percent severe). Meanwhile, 23 percent of Gainers and 17 percent of the Unchanged went hungry. 

Meanwhile, adults from families that were involuntarily hungry in the last three months had a higher Losers score than those that were not.  As a result, the Net Gainers score was -84 among the hungry, compared to only -72 among the non-hungry.

Further, the score does not vary by the degree of hunger experienced; those who experienced severe (“often” and “always”) and moderate (“only once” and “a few times”) hunger both tallied a score of -84.

SWS shared that the survey question on quality-of-life trends in the past 12 months has been fielded 137 times since April 1983.

Data were gathered through mobile phone interviews of adult Filipinos (18 years old and above), randomly drawn from a database of mobile phone numbers compiled from SWS national and subnational representative face-to-face surveys since 2017. 

SWS noted a sampling error margin of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±6% for the Visayas, and ±6% for Mindanao. 

 
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