Most Filipinos relied on cash aid, savings and loans during quarantine â SWS
The Ortigas business district dwarfs a slum area on the Pasig Floodway on May 25, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, file

Most Filipinos relied on cash aid, savings and loans during quarantine — SWS

( - May 31, 2020 - 10:22am

MANILA, Philippines — Most Filipinos depended on government aid, spent personal savings or took out loans for their daily expenses during the quarantine, a Social Weather Stations survey suggests.

In a mobile survey conducted from May 4-10, the non-profit  found that 39% of respondents used cash assistance — including from the government’s social amelioration program —vouchers and gift certificates, among others, for their daily expenses.

This, while 45% used the money they earned working, while the remaining 21% used what's left of their savings and 6% used money they loaned or borrowed. 

"On the other hand, 6% of families say they do not spend money because they receive relief goods, and 2% say they do not spend money because they harvest their own crops. While these families are not spending money, it does not imply that all their needs have been met," the survey read. 

The survey said that no choices were provided to respondents, who were allowed to give more than one answer.

It must be noted that there were widespread work suspensions during the quarantine, which has been gradually relaxed since mid-May. Metro Manila is shifting to a general community quarantine on Monday, June 1.

With some 93,000 commercial establishments temporarily shutting down, over 2.5 million Filipinos found themselves jobless over the two-month coronavirus lockdown in the country, while the labor department has estimated that the number would climb to as high as 10 million.

Earlier in April, data from finance website Finder also discovered that 58% of Filipinos reported being unable to buy essential items amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to an earlier SWS survey release, four out of five Filipinos left the house at least once and at most thrice in the week before the survey was conducted for essentials. SWS also found that almost 90% of Filipinos are more afraid of getting and transmitting COVID-19 compared to any other pathogen in the past..

As it stands, the administration’s response to the global pandemic has been rife with stories of delayed action, double standards in law enforcement and incursions on dissent with some of the country’s most vulnerable strata still bereft of government support to this day despite the chief executive holding special powers.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has admitted that its hands were tied when it came to the second tranche of its long-delayed social amelioration aid distribution. Much of the blame has been passed onto local governments, while the department continues to dodge questions from reporters.  

As of the health department’s latest, and late, tally, the current number of active cases in the Philippines stands at 12,466, with the total number of cases soaring well past 17,000 with 590 new cases. — Franco Luna

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