MANILA, Philippines – Majority of residents in Metro Manila oppose proposals to provide government funding to bail out of big businesses that have suffered losses during the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an online survey showed.
Out of the 1,000 respondents, 55.4% said they are not in favor of providing large corporations with financial support from government. It was the only proposed policy out of the 9 tested by the survey that failed to get majority support.
“This result indicates that the government will have to do extra work to justify to the public the passage of economic stimulus legislation to provide bailouts to large hotel chains, upscale tourism operations, airlines, and other large corporations that have suffered major financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Aureli Sinsuat, director and spokesperson of consultancy firm Publicus Asia, which conducted the survey.
In contrast, almost all the respondents – at 93.6% – approved of providing financial support to small business owners. (READ: ‘Sariling diskarte’: The heavy impact of lockdown on micro, small businesses)
“It will also be a challenge for the national government to find consensus on the different proposals being suggested by various stakeholders focusing primarily in big businesses,” Sinsuat added.
Other policies tested by the survey were:
- Providing frontline medical services people with additional pay (97.6% approval)
- Mass testing to identify all persons with COVID-19 (94.7%)
- Providing government-controlled transportation services during the quarantine (93.3%)
- Distribution of relief packs to households under quarantine (84.5%)
- Distribution of cash transfers to households under quarantine (83.7%)
- Extension of the quarantine (75.5%)
- Allowing controlled return to work of some employees (68.4%)
Publicus Asia conducted the NCR COVID-19 Survey from April 2 to 6 with its in-house strategic research brand, VOX Opinion Research, in partnership with Singapore-based Lightspeed Research/Kantar Asia-Pacific.
Lightspeed Research provided an online panel of 1,000 Metro Manila residents aged 18 to 70 from its pool of 100,000 Philippine panelists. The number of respondents per city was distributed proportionally based on official population data.
The Philippines is under a state of calamity since March 16, with the entire Luzon under lockdown until April 30. Local government units in the Visayas and Mindanao have also enforced lockdowns to prevent the spread of the disease. (READ: Provinces, cities in the Visayas extend lockdown periods)
Economists expect the country to go into recession, as the economy contracts due to the lockdowns brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III estimates the country’s 2020 gross domestic product growth at 0% to -1%., while the National Economic and Development Authority projects lower GDP growth of up to -0.6%. – Rappler.com