‘Worst trend’ in decades: Most Filipinos say quality of life got worse in past year

‘Worst trend’ in decades: Most Filipinos say quality of life got worse in past year


In the 135 surveys the Social Weather Stations has run on the same issue over 37 years, the May 2020 probe has the highest percentage of respondents who believe their quality of life got worse

MANILA, Philippines – A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said 8 out of 10 Filipinos believe their quality of life got worse in the past 12 months, reflecting the worst trend in the survey’s nearly 4-decade history.

The SWS conducted a COVID-19 Mobile Survey among 4,010 working age Filipinos (15 years old and above) from May 4 to 10.

Results released Thursday, June 18, showed that that 83% of the respondents believ their quality of life got worsel, 10% believe their quality of life was the same, and 6% believe their life got better compared to a year ago.

The survey used the term “Losers” for respondents who think their quality of life got worse, “Unchanged” for those who think it was the same, and “Gainers” for those who think it got better.

“The 83% proportion of Losers in May 2020 is a new peak in the 37-year series of 135 SWS surveys, breaking the previous record 62% Losers in June 2008. The 6% proportion of Gainers is a new all-time low, breaking the previous record 9% Gainers in July 1985,” the SWS said in a statement..

The SWS said the latest Net Gainers score of -78 (Gainers minus Losers, correctly rounded) is also the worst in survey history, breaking the previous record low of -50 in June 2008.

The SWS classified Net Gainers scores according to the following:

  • +20 up – “Excellent”
  • +10 to +19 – “Very High”
  • +1 to +9 – “High”
  • -9 to net zero – “Fair”
  • -19 to -10 – “Mediocre”
  • -29 to -20 – “Low”
  • -39 to -30 – “Very Low”
  • -40 and below – “Extremely Low”

Although Net Gainers have been negative very often in survey history, the SWS said the negative May 2020 score “is a break from the positive trend of the past 5 years.”

“Of the 20 observations between March 2015 and December 2019, 19 were positive. Notably, this already accounts for 90% of all positive scores recorded by SWS,” according to the press release.

Net Gainers scores also hit record-low negatives in all areas, starting with Metro Manila’s score of -77, Luzon’s -75, Visayas’ -82, and Mindanao’s -80.

The SWS said Net Gainers scores were equally bad in areas under enhanced community quarantine (-77) and those under general community quarantine (-78) – lockdown measures put in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

At the time of the SWS survey, areas in the Philippines were either under an enhanced community quarantine (the strictest level of lockdown) or general community quarantine.

Educational attainment, hunger, job situation

Meanwhile, the Net Gainers score was lowest among non-elementary graduates (-89), followed by elementary graduates (-82), junior high school graduates (-78), and college graduates (-65).

The score among working-age Filipinos whose families experienced involuntary hunger (hunger due to lack of food to eat) was -88 – lower than the score among those whose families did not experience involuntary hunger (-75).

The SWS said 16.7% (4.2 million) Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger in May 2020.

Those whose families experienced moderate hunger and severe hunger also had extremely low scores of -89 and -84, respectively.

As for Filipinos who have a job and are receiving full pay, the Net Gainers score was still an extremely low -73. But the SWS said the scores were worse among those who have a job but are not receiving pay (-81), those who never had a job (-80), and those who do not have a job at present but used to have one (-78).

The survey was conducted using mobile and computer-assisted telephone interviewing, with 4,010 respondents from the following areas: Metro Manila (294 respondents), Luzon (1,645), Visayas (792), and Mindanao (1,279).

The survey has ±2% error margins for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±2% for Luzon, ±3% for Visayas, and ±3% for Mindanao. – Rappler.com

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