Workers install scaffolding on a church's spire in Manila on April 17, 2018. Workers’ pay hike and controlling the increase in prices of goods are the top two national concerns deemed urgent by Filipinos, latest Pulse Asia survey showed.
Noel Celis/AFP
Money matters: Salary hike, inflation remain top concerns of Filipinos
Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) - April 24, 2018 - 12:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — Money-related matters such as improving the pay of workers and controlling the spiraling cost of goods continue to be the leading national concerns among Filipinos, the latest Pulse Asia survey suggests.

According to the March 2018 Ulat ng Bayan, the most often mentioned concern by Filipinos is the need to increase the wage of workers (50 percent).

There is a 7-percentage point rise in the proportion of Filipinos who consider pay increase an urgent national concern for the same period last year at 43 percent.

Controlling the rising prices of goods (45 percent) ranked second on the list of concerns that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte should address immediately.

According to a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, inflation may exceed the central bank’s two to four percent target for 2018 due to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law.

READ: Winners and losers: How the TRAIN law affects rich, poor Filipinos

Asked to order which of the concerns is the most urgent, workers’ pay hike was ranked first by 21 percent of respondents while 18 percent chose inflation as the country's most pressing issue.

Other top concerns

Reducing poverty (35 percent), creating jobs (32 percent), fighting criminality (27 percent), fighting graft and corruption in government (22 percent) and promoting peace (22 percent) were the most mentioned national concerns following pay hike and inflation.

Other concerns listed on the survey were reducing the amount of taxes paid by Filipinos (15 percent), protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (13 percent), enforcing the rule of law (10 percent) and preserving the environment (10 percent).

Filipinos, on the other hand, seemed to be least concerned about population growth (7 percent), national territorial defense (6 percent), terrorism (4 percent) and charter change (3 percent).

“Public concern about the need to increase the pay of workers and protect the welfare of OFWs becomes more pronounced between December 2017 and March 2018 while levels of concern about fighting corruption in government and enforcing the rule of law decline during the same period,” the polling firm noted.

Assessment on Duterte admin

The same survey also showed that Filipinos are most appreciative of the current administration’s efforts to respond to the needs of areas affected by calamities (86 percent), ensuring the protection of migrant workers (84 percent) and combating criminality (81 percent).

The Duterte administration also enjoys majority approval scores in areas of promoting peace (71 percent), enforcing the rule of law (71 percent), protecting the environment (71 percent), fighting corruption in government (70 percent), increasing the pay of workers (68 percent), creating more jobs (67 percent), defending the national territorial integrity (67 percent) and reducing poverty (53 percent).

Meanwhile, public disapproval is more pronounced toward the current government in the area of controlling inflation (33 percent).

“The Duterte administration enjoys majority approval ratings on 11 of the 12 selected national issues on which its performance is evaluated in this survey; Filipinos’ assessment of the national administration’s work remains essentially constant between December 2017 and March 2018,” Pulse Asia said.

In a separate Social Weathers Station released April 11, the chief executive’s net satisfaction from December 2017 to March 2018 remained “very good” at 56 percent.

The recent Ulat ng Bayan survey was conducted from March 23 to 28 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults.

It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level. 

READDuterte retains 'very good' satisfaction ratings in SWS survey

INFLATION PULSE ASIA SALARY HIKE TRAIN LAW
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