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SWS: Life worsened for 83 percent of Filipinos

By Dhel Nazario

More Filipinos said their quality of life worsened in the past 12 months, dropping to a new record-low as the “worst trend in survey history” in the second quarter survey the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The survey which was conducted from May 4 to 10 among 4,010 respondents found that 83 percent said their quality of life got worse (termed by SWS as Losers), while 10 percent said it was the same (unchanged), and only six percent said it got better (gainers), compared to a year ago.

Workers ride their bicycles home in Manila on May 20, 2020. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Workers ride their bicycles home in Manila on May 20, 2020. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to the SWS, the 83 percent proportion of losers in May 2020 is a “new peak” in the 37-year series of 135 SWS surveys, breaking the previous record 62 percent losers in June 2008. The six percent proportion of gainers is a new “all-time low”, breaking the previous record of nine percent gainers in July 1985.

The SWS added that the net gainers score (percentage of gainers minus percentage of losers) of -78 is the “worst in survey history”, breaking the previous record low –50 in June 2008. It plummeted from a very high +18 in December 2019.

The low score of -78 of nationwide net gainers score was attributed by SWS to the very low (–30 and below) scores in all areas. The score is lowest in the Visayas at –82, followed by Mindanao at –80, Metro Manila at –77, and Balance Luzon at –75

Scores in all areas dropped to all-time low figures when compared to previous SWS surveys of adults.

SWS said that the net gainers score is “equally bad” in Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas at –77 and –78, respectively

On the other hand, the survey found that the net gainers score among working-age Filipinos is extremely low (–40 and below) both among families that experienced moderate hunger at –89 and among families that experienced severe hunger at –84.

The survey also found that net gainers score among families experienced involuntary hunger is –88, lower than the –75 among those whose families did not experience involuntary hunger.

Meanwhile, the net gainers score among those who have a job but are not receiving pay is at –81. This is followed by those who never had a job at –80, those who do not have a job at present but used to have one are at –78, and those who have a job and are receiving full pay at –73.

Non-elementary graduates by educational attainment has the lowest net gainers score at –89, followed by elementary graduates at –82, junior high school graduates at –78, and college graduates at –65

The SWS said the survey was conducted through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing among working-age Filipinos 15 years old and above nationwide randomly selected from a database of mobile phone numbers compiled from SWS national and subnational representative face-to-face surveys since 2017.

SWS noted the sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±2 for Balance Luzon, ±3% Visayas, and ±3% in Mindanao.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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