Few Filipinos observe physical distancing, OCTA survey shows

Published March 9, 2021, 10:51 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Most Filipinos are wearing face mask and washing hands regularly, but less are observing physical distancing, a survey by OCTA Research showed.

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. is calling for a more strict implementation of seating arrangements for public transportation. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)
(Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

The Tugon ng Masa survey on compliance with public health standards was conducted from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 among 1,200 respondents nationwide.

The survey results released on Tuesday, March 9 showed that the use of face mask and regular cleaning of hands using water and soap or alcohol top the measures Filipinos practice to avoid contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with 91 percent and 90 percent of Filipinos practicing each, respectively. 

This is followed by the use of face shield at 82 percent.

“While majority of adult Filipinos comply with the minimum public health standards set by the DOH (Department of Health), less are able to observe social distancing,” OCTA said.

It found that only 67 percent of Filipinos are “observing physical or social distancing,” and 60 percent are “staying at home when it is not necessary to go out.”

Physical and social distancing (82 percent), and staying at home (76 percent) are practiced more in Metro Manila compared to other areas, it also pointed out.

OCTA found that about 67 percent of Filipinos in Mindanao are observing physical distancing, followed by the rest of Luzon at 64 percent and Visayas at 62 percent. 

Meanwhile, 63 percent of Filipinos in the rest of Luzon opt to stay at  home, followed by Mindanao at 51 percent and Visayas at 50 percent.

OCTA Research also noted that 25 percent of Filipinos avoid domestic travel, 20 percent consult a doctor or healthcare provider when not feeling well, and 15 percent avoid international travel.