MANILA – It is no longer a surprise that the majority of Filipinos believe their lives got worse in the past 12 months, Malacañang said on Friday.
In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace already expected the results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll, which found that 79 percent of Filipinos were not happy with the quality of their life in the past 12 months.
Roque said it is understandable for most Filipinos to think that way, considering that the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) “has indeed adversely affected our economy and people’s livelihood and business.”
“We understand this public sentiment, considering that our government economists have mentioned that prior to Covid-19, the Philippines was among the fastest-growing economies in the region, with low and stable inflation and lowest ever rates of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty,” he said.
The SWS, in its July 3-6 survey, bared that 79 percent of 1,555 respondents considered themselves “losers” as their lives worsened, while only 8 percent believed they were “gainers” as their lives improved.
It, nevertheless, noted that the highest number of people whose lives got worse was recorded in May 2020.
“The 79 percent proportion of losers in July 2020 is the second-highest proportion recorded by SWS. It is next only to the record-high 83 percent in May 2020,” the SWS said.
To mitigate the socioeconomic impact of Covid-19 and eventually improve Filipinos’ lives, Roque said the country’s economic managers have prepared a “whole-of-society” program called Recharge PH.
He said the Recharge PH intends to “refocus, sharpen the design and accelerate the implementation of programs under the 2020 General Appropriations.”
“We will implement Recharge PH within 2020 and into 2021 and will be incorporated in the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022,” Roque said, assuring the public that the priority projects under the government’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program have also started, subject to health and safety protocols.
He said the key infrastructure projects would help create jobs and stimulate the country’s economy.
“We are guided by ‘Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay’ (protect life for livelihood) as we resolve to recover gradually,” Roque said.
In March, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed quarantine protocols deemed as one of the strictest measures imposed by a country to arrest the spread of Covid-19.
Duterte eventually eased the health and quarantine rules to gradually reopen the economy and help the country recover from the health crisis.
He, however, decided to place Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine until August 18 due to the sudden spike in infections in these areas. (PNA)