MANILA – Malacañang on Friday said it was “saddened” by a report that Filipinos are less happy in 2020, the year when the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) hit the country.
In a “Laging Handa” briefing aired over state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic made Filipinos less happy last year.
“Nalulungkot tayo na naging mas kakaunti ang mga maligaya sa bansa natin ngayon pero ito ay epekto ng pandemya (We are saddened that there are only a few Filipinos who are happy but this is because of the effect of the pandemic),” Roque said.
The Philippines landed on 61st spot out of 149 nations included in the rankings, according to the 2021 World Happiness Report published annually by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
The latest World Happiness Report also assessed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in people’s happiness. The results found that the Philippines ranked 74th out of 95 countries surveyed in the category.
“The pandemic’s toll on negative emotions is clear,” the report said.
Roque was optimistic that the government’s Covid-19 immunization drive, once completed, would make Filipinos happy again.
“Nandiyan naman po ang pag-asa natin sa pagdating ng mga bakuna. So, inaasahan po natin na matapos mabakunahan ang lahat eh mas liligaya muli ang mga Pilipino (There is still hope following the arrival of the vaccines. So we are expecting Filipinos to be happy against once all of them get vaccinated),” he said.
The government’s goal is to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity.
Roque ensured that the government would take appropriate measures to stop the further spread of Covid-19.
He also guaranteed that there would be no prolonged lockdowns in the country.
“Hindi ako naniniwala na nagpo-prolonged lockdown nga po tayo. Sa katunayan po, bukas po ang ekonomiya (I don’t think we are prolonging lockdown. Honestly, we are even reopening the economy),” Roque said.
Instead of imposing a stricter community quarantine, the government has decided to implement additional restrictions in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal from March 22 to April 4 to address the upward trend of Covid-19 infections in the country. (PNA)