Prices, salaries, health among Pinoys’ top concerns – survey

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Controlling inflation, increasing workers’ pay and staying healthy were among the top concerns of Filipinos, according to Pulse Asia’s December 2015 survey.

Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan Survey, taken from Dec. 4 to 11, polled 1,800 registered voters on urgent personal and national concerns.

The leading urgent national concerns of Filipinos are mostly economic in nature – controlling inflation (45 percent from 46 percent in September), increasing workers’ pay (42 percent from 47 percent), reducing poverty (38 percent from 32 percent), creating more jobs (34 percent from 37 percent) and fighting corruption in government (34 percent from 39 percent).

A quarter of Filipinos or 25 percent also considered criminality as an urgent issue.

The other national concerns of Filipinos included peace (19 percent from 18 percent) and rule of law (still at 16 percent), environmental degradation (12 percent from 13 percent) and reducing the amount of taxes paid (11 percent).

Less than one in 10 Filipinos cited rapid population growth (seven percent from 11 percent), welfare of overseas Filipino workers (seven percent), territorial integrity (four percent from seven percent), Charter change (three percent from four percent), and terrorism (still at three percent) as issues requiring the immediate attention of the government.

With regard to urgent personal concerns, 62 percent of Filipinos cited health as an urgent personal concern (from 66 percent in November), followed by completing one’s education or providing schooling for one’s children (48 percent from 49 percent).

Other personal issues also deemed urgent by Filipinos were having a secure job (43 percent from 39 percent) and having enough to eat on a daily basis (41 percent from 42 percent).

Filipinos also cited as urgent personal concerns the following: having some savings (39 percent) and having one’s own house and lot (37 percent), which were unchanged from the November poll.

Filipinos are least concerned about avoiding being a crime victim at 30 percent, from 28 percent previously, Pulse Asia said.

 Approval rating

The Aquino administration scored only one majority approval rating in December 2015 – on the issue of protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (52 percent, up a point from 51 percent in September).

“Out of the 12 issues on which the Aquino administration is performance-rated in December 2015, it is only on this issue that it records a majority approval score,” Pulse Asia noted.

Nearly half of Filipinos are satisfied with the work done by the government in the areas of disaster response (49 percent), peace promotion (48 percent), territorial defense (46 percent) and crime eradication (45 percent).

Four in 10 Filipinos or 44 percent, meanwhile, approved of the government’s efforts to protect the environment.

Almost the same approval and indecision ratings were recorded by the administration in the areas of equal law enforcement (40 percent and 39 percent, respectively) and job creation (35 percent and 37 percent, respectively).

It registered virtually the same approval and disapproval figures for its anti-corruption initiatives (36 percent and 33 percent, respectively).

Almost the same percentages of Filipinos either disapproved of or expressed indecision regarding the administration’s efforts to increase the pay of workers (33 percent and 36 percent, respectively) and reduce poverty (37 percent and 38 percent, respectively).

A near majority of Filipinos (46 percent) were critical of the administration’s performance as far as controlling inflation is concerned – an issue deemed urgent by almost half of Filipinos, the pollster said.

Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey has a plus or minus two percentage points error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

Government doing best

Malacañang, for its part, yesterday said President Aquino has always endeavored to address the people’s most important concerns.

“Through sound management of macroeconomic fundamentals, the government has controlled inflation to a range of 1 to 1.5 percent. Interest rates on consumer loans have also been brought down. Hence, consumer power has been enhanced considerably. The highest priority has also been given to reducing poverty and fighting corruption through good governance and public accountability,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“The government will continue to work hard to deliver public services satisfactorily and secure the well-being of our bosses – the Filipino people,” Coloma said. – With Aurea Calica

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