File photo shows presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
The STAR/Joven Cagande
Palace on quality of life survey: All of us are having a hard time
Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) - June 18, 2020 - 5:52pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Palace on Thursday said it is not surprised by a Social Weather Stations survey that recorded an "all-time low" in Filipinos' quality of life in the last 12 months.

SWS said 83% of respondents said they are worse off compared to last year.

"It should be 100% [of Filipinos who are worse off] because there is COVID-19 and the economy was closed. That doesn't surprise us," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

He added that "all of us are having a hard time" due to the lockdown "and the President recognizes that."

Based on a mobile phone survey conducted between May 4 to 10, a total of 83% of working-age Filipino respondents said that their quality of life got worse, significantly outnumbering just 10% who said their lives were "unchanged" and 6% who said their lives improved.

The survey graphed the yearly change in personal quality of life among respondents since April 1983 — from the administration of late dictator and former President Ferdinand Marcos up to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trends were also attributed to notable events in each period, such as economic crises, war and calamity and most recently, the COVID-19 crisis.

"Scores in all areas dropped to all-time low figures when compared to previous SWS surveys of adults," the survey read.

In a related survey, the SWS had found that 16.7% of Filipino families (estimated 4.2 million) in May 2020 had experienced involuntary hunger.

Aid program for affected families

The government is currently in the middle of distributing the second tranche of aid to low-income households and workers affected by quarantine restrictions intended to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the government has also accounted for 4,269,458 of the five million families who are qualified to receive aid but were left out during the first tranche of SAP.

Roque previously said the administration aims to distribute 60% of the second tranche of subsidies this week.

While the government has started the second wave of the social amelioration program, it is not yet done distributing the first tranche of the assistance.

President Rodrigo Duterte in his 12th report to congres said that 17,654,832 households or about 98 percent of intended beneficiaries have received assistance.

The estimated number of intended beneficiaries is 17,946,554, which means that 291,722 households have not yet received aid. Of the P101.48 billion allocated for the first tranche of aid, about P99.83 billion has been distributed, Duterte said. — with reports from Alexis Romero and Ratziel San Juan

COVID-19 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS SOCIAL AMELIORATION PROGRAM
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