Amid crackdown on violators, survey shows most Pinoys continue to follow COVID-19 health protocols
File photo from July, 7, 2020 shows commuters lining up to take the bus after MRT operations were suspended due to a rise of COVID-19 cases among the railway's employees.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Amid crackdown on violators, survey shows most Pinoys continue to follow COVID-19 health protocols

Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) - July 24, 2020 - 11:25am

MANILA, Philippines — Even as the government continues to crackdown on alleged quarantine violators, a Social Weather Stations survey published Friday once again showed that majority of Filipinos said they adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures.

The national mobile phone survey was conducted from July 3 to 6 as community quarantine was relaxed in most areas of the country.

76% of Filipinos told SWS that they always wear a face mask when leaving the house.

The highest proportion of these consistent mask wearers came from Metro Manila at 90%, followed by Visayas at 82%, while the rest of Luzon and Mindanao were both at 72%.


In his latest televised meeting with his COVID-19 task force, Duterte told law enforcement to "have no qualms" in arresting those who forego the wearing masks in public.

He also said that he would be providing face masks to Filipinos who couldn't afford them but no official policy has been rolled out since then.

This, even as arrests of quarantine violators which have been flagged by lawmakers as "overzealous" and "disproportionate" are ongoing.

Earlier this month, the Commission on Human Rights flagged that arrests by police amid the community quarantine appeared to violate the government's own social distancing guidelines.

READ: Arrests amid pandemic violate government's own health, safety guidelines — CHR

Meanwhile, 59% of SWS' respondents said they always practice social distancing.

Metro Manila had the highest number of people practicing physical distancing at 68%, trailed by Visayas at 64%, Mindanao at 57%, and the rest of Luzon at 56%.


SWS also found that 65% of its respondents said they wash their hands several times a day.

"Those who always wash their hands are now highest in Metro Manila at 73%, followed by the Visayas at 69%, Mindanao at 67%, and Balance Luzon at 59%," SWS said.


Despite this cooperation from Filipinos, the country is still under the longest community quarantine in the world. It has been 129 days since lockdown restrictions were first implemented in March. 

Even as Malacañang insists that the rise in COVID-19 cases is a result of bolstered testing in the country, data from the health department shows that the government has only tested 1% of the population thus far.

Slow contact tracing efforts in the country have also been flagged by the World Health Organization and a former adviser to the COVID-19 task force.

The Department of Interior and Local Government on July 10 said that it was still waiting on the Department of Budget and Management to release the necessary funds for the hiring of 50,000 additional contact tracers. 

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