Philippines

Palace: Survey showing quality of life worsened for 79 percent of Filipinos a ’cause of concern’

MANILA, Philippines — The recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing that 79 percent of Filipinos think their lives worsened in the past year is a “cause of concern,” Malacañang said Friday as it vowed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic in people’s livelihoods.

“The Social Weather Stations (SWS) National Mobile Phone Survey showing a big majority of Filipinos indicated that their quality of life got worse this year compared to a year ago is a cause of concern,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque underscored that the government has already prepared its comeback plan from the COVID-19 pandemic which would help Filipinos “recover gradually.”

“To mitigate the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, government economists have prepared a whole-of-society program paramount in our recovery plan called Recharge PH, which seeks to refocus, sharpen the design and accelerate the implementation of programs under the 2020 General Appropriations,” Roque said.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier said the “Recharge PH” program would rebalance the government’s priorities from saving lives from COVID-19 to saving lives from the virus along with other factors such as hunger and other diseases.

“The government’s priority Build, Build, Build programs have also started, subject to health and safety protocols, to create jobs and stimulate the economy,” Roque further noted.

“We are guided by ‘ingat buhay’ (safeguards to life) para sa ‘hanapbuhay’ (livelihood) as we resolve to recover gradually,” he went on.

Lockdown measures have been imposed in the country since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the enhanced community quarantine forcing non-essential businesses to close.

The lockdown in most areas in the country was eased starting June but Metro Manila and four of its neighboring provinces Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna recently returned to stricter lockdown or modified enhanced community quarantine due to rising virus cases.

Lockdowns to curb the COVID-19 transmission pushed the country’s economy into recession, diving to 16.5 percent during the second quarter of the year according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. [ac]

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