EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – FINDINGS OF 2020 PAHAYAG END-OF-THE-YEAR SURVEY : December 3-9, 2020
The PAHAYAG End-of-the-Year survey is an independent and non-commissioned poll done by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. covering the period of December 3-9, 2020. It is a nationwide purposive sampling survey comprised of 1500 respondents drawn from a research panel of approximately 100K Filipinos maintained by a Singapore-based firm. The survey research panel was restricted to registered voters. Parameters based on respondent age and location were also considered in the sample formulation in order for the resulting sample to conform more closely to the features of the voting population as defined by statistics from the COMELEC.
There were nine (9) modules studied in this survey: state of the economy and economic prospects, assessment of COVID-19 responses, key national issues, leadership scorecard, emotional quotient, media consumption habits and responses to media campaigns, predisposition, travel and blended learning. The results are as follows:
- STATE OF THE ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC PROSPECTS
- Majority of respondents (~75%) appear to be optimistic about their personal financial prospects for 2021 with optimism levels being observably lower among the oldest age groups.
- The majority of respondents (~70%) also appear to be optimistic about the nation’s economic prospects for 2021 with optimism rising with income level.
- Unemployment remains high among respondents at ~20% with around 70% of those unemployed indicating they have some level of working experience. The ~20%, while high, is an improvement from the ~25% registered in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey (August 2020). It is of note that unemployment appears to be lowest in the NCR – which bore the brunt of the economic impact of the pandemic and the accompanying lockdowns (NCR rate ~ 11%). These could be viewed as signs of an economic recovery.
- A large proportion of respondents want to go back into the office (~30% ALL DAYS to ~43% ALL DAYS + MOST DAYS). A larger proportion of males want to go back into the office (~35% vs ~27%). The desire to go back into the office appears to decrease with age.
- ASSESSMENT OF COVID RESPONSES
- The Office of the President and the IATF garnered total approval levels exceeding 60% (~68% and ~63% respectively). Most of the other departments or agencies directly involved in the COVID response registered approval ratings between 50% and 58% with standouts being DOST and DSWD.
- Most of the agencies that scored approval levels below 50% can be viewed to be policy centric or not directly involved in frontline responses – SENATE, HOR, NEDA, and DBM.
- The Office of the Vice President garnered the lowest total approval rating of ~41% and the highest disapproval rating of ~28%. DEPED recorded a comparable disapproval rating of ~25% but had a markedly higher approval rating of ~48%.
- COVID health safety protocols enjoy high to near-universal levels of acceptance among respondents. Most respondents appear to be prepared or willing to keep practicing these protocols beyond the lifting of the GCQ.
- More than half of the respondents indicated that they would SIMPLIFY GATHERINGS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS (~64%), CANCEL CHRISTMAS PARTIES WITH FRIENDS (~62%), and/or CANCEL CHRISTMAS PARTIES WITH FAMILY MEMBERS (~57%). Close to half indicated that they intend to spend less on FIRECRACKERS (~49%), CHRISTMAS GIFTS (~45%), and/or NOCHE BUENA (~39%).
- The majority of respondents (~80%) indicated that COVID remains a VERY DANGEROUS THREAT with less than 1% indicating that it is NOT A DANGEROUS THREAT.
- KEY NATIONAL ISSUES
- The NATIONAL ID SYSTEM garnered the highest level of overall approval at ~78%.
- Projects and proposals that promise/imply transfers or benefits were well received. These include the GOVERNMENT SPONSORED VACCINE (~75%), BAYANIHAN ACT 2 (~71%), UPGRADING OF REGIONAL AIRPORTS (~66%), and INCREASING THE NATIONAL BUDGET TO 4.5T (~61%).
- Proposals designed to curb the spread of COVID also enjoy high levels of approval. These include the EXTENSION OF THE GCQ (~62%) and the PROHIBITION OF FACE TO FACE CLASSES (~60%).
- Relatively unpopular proposals and projects include: THE ACTIONS OF GEN PARLADE (~38% approval vs ~20% disapproval), THE ABOLITION OF PHILHEALTH (~36% approval vs ~32% disapproval), and the USE OF DOLOMITE IN THE MANILA BAY RECLAMATION (~27% approval vs ~41% disapproval).
- The TOP ISSUES for respondents include: THE COVID VACCINE, THE ECONOMY, JOBS, CORRUPTION, and EDUCATION – with the first three dominating the top ranked category.
- Over half of respondents indicated that they felt HOPEFUL about the Philippines heading into 2021. 40% indicated that they felt anxious about the Philippines heading into 2021. These are the two most commonly chosen emotions. Selection rates were markedly lower for the other emotions.
- PRESIDENT DUTERTE registered the highest overall approval rating of ~70%. This represents an improvement from his ~65% score in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey of August 2020. VICE PRESIDENT ROBREDO registered the highest disapproval rating of ~35% which is in line with her score in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey. SP SOTTO recorded an increase in his overall approval rating from 39% in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey to ~47% in this EOY survey – thereby giving him the biggest improvement among the TOP5 leaders.
- SEN PACQUIAO remains at the top among senators in terms of approval rating at ~70%. SEN GO improved from ~42% in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey to ~51% in this EOY survey – a massive gain in just a few months. SEN POE’s approval remains constant at ~43%.
- PRESIDENT DUTERTE registered the highest TOTAL HIGH TRUST rating of ~62%. This represents an improvement from his ~55% score in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey. VICE PRESIDENT ROBREDO registered the highest TOTAL LOW rating of ~42% which is again in line with her score in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey. SP SOTTO recorded an increase in his TOTAL HIGH TRUST rating from ~22% in the PAHAYAG-SONA survey to ~30% in this EOY survey.
- SEN PACQUIAO remains the most TRUSTED senator with a TOTAL HIGH TRUST rating of ~58% despite registering a decrease from his PAHAYAG-SONA survey score of ~63%.
- EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT
- PRESIDENT DUTERTE registered the highest shares of all the traits measured. His top traits include HAS LOVE FOR THE PHL, HAS CONCERN FOR FILIPINOS, RESPONSIBLE, PRO POOR, and SINCERE/AUTHENTIC. VICE PRESIDENT ROBREDO’s top traits include RELIGIOUS, SYMPATHETIC, HAS CONCERN FOR FILIPINOS, and APPROACHABLE.
- MEDIA CONSUMPTION HABITS AND RESPONSES TO MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
- SOCIAL MEDIA has displaced TELEVISION as the top source of news with 70% of respondents found to be HIGH RATE (4 to 6 TIMES A WEEK + EVERYDAY) consumers of SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS (vs ~58% of respondents found to be HIGH RATE consumers of TELEVISION NEWS).
- FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE have near universal usage rates among respondents with most users found to be HIGH RATE users (~63% and ~58% respectively).
- NETFLIX has overtaken CABLE TELEVISION in terms of USAGE RATES (~67% vs ~66%)and HIGH RATE USAGE RATES (~32% vs 28%).
- SARA DUTERTE, BONGBONG MARCOS, ISKO DOMAGOSO, and LENI ROBREDO are in a four-way tie for the top spot in presidential predisposition. Close behind are MANNY PACQUIAO, GRACE POE, and TITO SOTTO. No clear frontrunner can be identified.
- SARA DUTERTE and ISKO DOMAGOSO are virtually tied for the top spot in vice presidential predisposition. Trailing behind are GRACE POE, MANNY PACQUIAO, BONG GO, and TITO SOTTO. Given that the nominal leaders have relatively low shares, no clear frontrunner can be identified.
- WILLIE ONG, LUCY TORRES GOMEZ, and VILMA SANTOS-RECTO are in the top twelve with WILLIE ONG posting a choice rate of ~56%.
- INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES recorded a higher TOTAL HIGH TRUST rating than DOMESTIC AIRLINES (~50% vs ~44%). DOMESTIC SEA BASED TRAVEL and PROVINCIAL BUSES recorded the lowest TOTAL HIGH TRUST ratings (~33% and 32%).
- Respondents have high to near universal selection rates for MASK WEARING (~95%), SOCIAL DISTANCING IN TERMINALS (~94%), PROVISION OF ALCOHOL/SANITIZER IN TERMINALS (~84%), TEMPERATURE CHECKS (~83%), FACE SHIELD WEARING (~83%), and ONE SEAT APART RULES (~81%). Relatively less popular is the PROHIBITION OF SENIOR CITIZENS IN TERMINALS (~64%)
- BLENDED LEARNING
- While the majority (~75%) indicated that their learners had a NEUTRAL or POSITIVE response to the blended learning environment, ~25% indicated that their learners had a NEGATIVE response.
- Top issues faced by learners include WEAK INTERNET CONNECTION, LACK OF FOCUS, and the LACK OF INTERACTION WITH TEACHERS.
- ~60% of respondents indicated that they would prefer their learners to spend most or all of their school time in school rather than at home. ~10% would prefer their learners to spend MOST or ALL of their school time at home. In terms of teaching scheme, ~20% preferred BLENDED NO FACE TO FACE, ~26% preferred TRADITIONAL LEARNING, and ~45% preferred MIXED.
The last PAHAYAG survey was done in August 2020, right after the State of the Nation Address. PUBLiCUS has been doing commissioned surveys as early as 2007 and launched its PAHAYAG brand in 2017 as its CSR, addressing the need for timely, relevant, and actionable information. PUBLiCUS likewise introduced in its PAHAYAG surveys new metrics: Emotional Quotient (or the Love, Care and Solidarity Index), electoral predisposition instead of preference since there are no official list of candidates yet, as well as household sentiments to complement existing optimism metrics. PUBLiCUS also employs its proprietary software (CAPI instead of PAPI) to facilitate the rapid release of results. PUBLiCUS remains committed to ensuring data integrity and the quality of our analytical outputs.
PUBLiCUS currently uses a research panel (i.e. individuals recruited to answer surveys) instead of face-to-face due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and the lockdowns. It is treated as a non-random sample as it did not give every element in the population a nonzero chance of selection, nor did it base sample selection through a fully randomized procedure. Instead, its sample is drawn according to a set of parameters or variables that conform to the population under consideration (i.e. samples have to be a certain age, gender, voter profile, etc.).
Dr. David Barua Yap
Chief Data Scientist