EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – FINDINGS OF NCR COVID-19 ONLINE PANEL SURVEY (Third Run) Fieldwork: May 5-8, 2020
NCR COVID-19 ONLINE PANEL SURVEY is an independent non-commissioned tracking survey conducted by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. and VOX Opinion Research in partnership with Kantar (formerly Lightspeed Research Singapore). The sample consists of an online panel of 1,000 Filipino respondents aged 18-70 and residing in Metro Manila. The panel was provided by Kantar from its pool of 100,000 Philippine panelists. Fieldwork for the third run of the survey was conducted online from May 5-8, 2020. The first and second runs of the survey were conducted between April 2-6 and April 13-18, 2020, respectively.
Respondents were asked to answer a short structured online questionnaire. Questions and answer options were provided in English with corresponding Filipino translations. The survey questions were designed to gauge the opinions and perceptions of respondents on the following key variables: Living Standards and Needs during the ECQ; National Government Performance; Local Government Performance; Media and Foreign Institutions; Existing/Proposed COVID-19 Policies. Responses from completed questionnaires were recorded in the system and transmitted in real-time to PUBLiCUS and VOX. The full dataset was processed and analyzed by VOX.
More information on the survey’s purposive sampling method and panel selection process can be found here.
The panel is relatively young, with four out of five respondents below the age of 40. 50.6% of respondents are between the ages of 18-29 and another 30.7% are aged 30-39. 12.4% of the panelists are aged 40-59. 5% of the panelists are between the ages of 50-59, and the remaining 1.3% are between 60-69 years old.
City/Municipality of Residence
The number of respondents per city is proportionate to official population statistics. Quezon (223), Manila (138), and Caloocan (123) have relatively large samples, while Pateros (5), San Juan (10), and Navotas (19) have relatively small samples.
Most respondents (55.9%) live in a typical household with three to five members. More than one-third of the panel (37.1%) live in large households with six or more members. Only 7% live alone or with just one other person.
More than one-third (35.7%) of respondents live in Poor or Low Income households earning P19,040 per month or less. More than one-quarter of the panel (26.2%) live in Lower Middle Income households earning between P19,041 to P38,080 per month. 18.5% live in Middle Class households earning between P38,081 and P66,640 per month. 14.4% live in Upper Middle Income, Upper Income, and Rich households earning more than P66,640 per month.
The panel has a significantly higher proportion of females (62.6% versus 37.4% male).
LIVING STANDARDS AND NEEDS
A plurality of respondents (44.4%) indicated that the status of their family under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is Good or Very Good. 36.3% said the status of their family is neither good nor bad. 19.3% of respondents said the status of their family under the ECQ is Bad or Very Bad.
The results suggest that the overall condition of some families may have improved since mid-April. Good and Very Good family condition has increased by 4.9% compared to the April 13-18 run of the survey. However, it should be noted that the proportion of Bad or Very family condition responses also increased slightly by 0.6%.
Respondents from the two lowest income groups recorded higher incidences of Bad or Very Bad family conditions than the 19.3% average across all income groups. Exactly one-third or 33.3% of respondents from Poor households reported Bad or Very Bad conditions for their families, along with 22.22% of respondents from Low Income households. Interestingly, the third-highest incidence of Bad or Very Bad family conditions were reported by respondents from Upper Income households at 18.51%.
Supply of Household Necessities
55% of respondents said their households have enough food and water to last them for only one week or less. 25.7% said they have enough food and water for a week or two. The remaining 19.3% said their food and water supplies would last them for more than two weeks. These results suggest a relatively less sufficient food and water supply among the panel population compared to the April 13-18 run of the survey, when only 52.6% of respondents said their food and water supply was only good for one week or less.
More than half of respondents or 53.8% said their households have enough money for one week or less. 24% said they have enough money for a week or two. The remaining 22.2% said they have enough money for more than two weeks. These results also suggest dwindling supplies of money among the panel population compared to the April 13-18 run, when 50.5% of respondents said their households only have enough money for one week or less.
58.5% of respondents said their household supply of medicine was only enough for one week or less. 23.5% said their supply was good for one to two weeks, while 18% said their supply would last for more than two weeks. The 2.5% increase in respondents reporting medicine supplies sufficient for one week or less suggest that medicine supplies are also dwindling among the panel population.
Loss of Employment Under ECQ
69.2% of respondents reported that at least one member of their respective households who was employed before the ECQ has lost his or her job due to the ECQ. This is a 5.2% increase from the April 13-18 survey. The data suggest that incidence of unemployment caused by the ECQ may be growing among panel households as the duration of the ECQ continues to extend.
The data suggest that panel households from lower income brackets may be significantly more likely to experience job loss due to the ECQ compared to more affluent panel households. 80.7% of respondents from Poor households and 81.48% of Low Income households reported that at least one member of their households had lost their job due to the ECQ. The proportion of respondents who reported job loss in their household generally decreases as monthly household income increases, with only 25% of respondents from Rich households indicating that someone in their household is now unemployed due to the ECQ.
NATIONAL GOVERNMENT PERCEPTIONS
Confidence in National Government’s Ability to Contain COVID-19
A plurality of respondents (42%) think there is only a 50/50 chance that the national government will be able to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. 33.9% answered that there is a High or Very High chance that the national government will succeed in containing the pandemic. 23.7% also had Low or Very Low confidence in the government’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The 5.4% increase in respondents with Low or Very Low confidence and the 6.1 decrease in High or Very High confidence between the first and third runs of the survey suggest that overall confidence in the national government’s ability to contain the spread of COVID-19 among the panel population may be decreasing over time.
Approval of the Response of President Duterte and the National Government to COVID-19
More than two-thirds of respondents (67.8%) approve or strongly approve of the manner in which President Rodrigo Duterte and the National Government are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 17% neither approve nor disapprove, while 15.2% either disapprove or strongly disapprove.
These results indicate a marginal 1.9% decrease in approval of the Duterte administration’s COVID-19 response compared to the April 13-18 run of the survey. However, the 67.8% approval rating is still higher than the 66.6% low recorded during the April 2-6 survey.
Approval was particularly strong among respondents from households classified as Low Income (80%) or Poor (72%), and weak or below average among respondents from households classified as Upper Income (52%), Upper Middle Income (55%), Rich (62.5%), Middle Income (64%), and Lower Middle Income (65%).
Approval was also low among younger respondents, with only 58% of those aged 18-29 registering approval of Duterte and the national government. Approval among respondents between the ages of 30-50 was significantly above average, hovering just below the 80-percent mark.
Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)
60.9% of respondents approve or strongly approve of the IATF-EID’s response to COVID-19. 28.1% neither approve nor disapprove. 11% disapprove or strongly disapprove. These results indicate a 1.2% increase in approval and 2.7% decrease in disapproval compared to the April 13-18 survey.
Department of Health
55.5% of respondents approve or strongly disapprove of the Department of Health’s response to COVID-19. 25.5% neither approve nor disapprove while 19% disapprove or strongly disapprove. These results indicate a 4.2% increase in approval from the April 13-18 run and a 2.1% decrease in disapproval.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
43.5% of respondents disapprove or strongly disapprove of the DSWD’s implementation of the Social Amelioration Program. 30% approve or strongly approve, while 26.5% neither approve nor disapprove. These results reflect a 6.8% increase in disapproval and a 3.2% decrease in approval compared to the April 13-18 survey. Overall, these results suggest deteriorating perceptions among the panel population on the performance of DSWD.
Preferred Form of Assistance from National Government
Money is the preferred form of COVID-19 assistance that respondents wish to receive from the National Government. 62.7% said they want to receive money from the National Government, followed by 18.6% wanting food and water, 17.2% wanting to receive free testing kits, and 1.5% wanting to receive medicine.
Comparative Philippine COVID-19 performance
When asked to rate the Philippines’ performance in responding to COVID-19 compared to other countries, 45.8% said the country’s performance was average. Almost one-third or 31.9% respondents said the Philippines’ was Below Average or Far Below Average. Only 22.3% of respondents said the country’s performance was Above Average or Far Above Average.
Approval of ICT Use Against COVID-19
67.5% of respondents said they approve or strongly approve of the national government’s use of internet and internet-based technologies in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 22% said they neither approve nor disapprove, while the remaining 9.1% either disapprove or strongly disapprove.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERCEPTIONS
Confidence in Mayor/LGU abilities
A majority of respondents (52.4%) said they are confident that their respective mayors and city governments can effectively manage COVID-19 once the ECQ is lifted in favor of General Community Quarantine (GCQ). However, the highest proportion of respondents at 40% said there is only a 50-50 chance that their respective mayors and city governments would be able to maintain peace and order upon the lifting of ECQ and its replacement with GCQ.
Almost half or 49.6% of respondents approve or strongly approve of the responses of their respective mayors and city governments to the COVID-19 pandemic. 26.8% disapprove or strongly disapprove of the performance of their mayor and city government, while 23.6% neither approve nor disapprove.
The data suggest a significant increase in Mayor/LGU approval among the panel population. Approval increased by 5.9% compared to the April 13-18 run of the survey while disapproval decreased by 6.4%.
92% of respondents residing in Valenzuela approve of their Mayor/LGU response. This is the highest approval rating in the May survey and the top overall approval rating among all Mayors/LGUs across all three survey runs. Respondents from Pasig (83%), Manila (76%), Marikina (68.58%), and Taguig (68.25%) round out the top 5 in terms of highest Mayor/LGU approval.
Assistance Already Received/Prefer to Receive
91.3% of respondents have already received food/relief packs from their respective LGUs. 21.5% have received financial assistance from their respective LGUs. These results suggest an increase in the percentage of panel households receiving relief from LGUs since the April 13-18 survey, when only 84% had received food/relief packs and 20.8% had received financial assistance.
Money is the form of assistance that respondents most want to receive from LGUs at 48.2%, followed by food and water (39%), free testing kits (9%), and medicine (3.8%).
Approval of ICT Use Against COVID-19
67.5% of respondents said they approve or strongly approve of their local government’s use of internet and internet-based technologies in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 21.8% said they neither approve nor disapprove, while the remaining 10.7% either disapprove or strongly disapprove.
PERCEPTIONS ON MEDIA AND FOREIGN INSTITUTIONS
Volume of Fake News During ECQ
Respondents were divided on whether the volume of fake news had increased or decreased during the ECQ. 33.7% said the volume of fake news had decreased a little or a lot compared to before the ECQ. Another 33.4% said fake news had increased a little or a lot. 32.9% said the volume of fake news during the ECQ was more or less the same.
Trust in Media During ECQ
A majority of respondents (51.4%) answered that their trust in media was more or less the same during the ECQ compared to before. 29.8% said their trust in media had increased a little or a lot during the ECQ, while 18.8% said their trust had decreased either a little or a lot.
COVID-19 Aid Provided by Foreign Countries/Organizations
Respondents approved most of the aid provided by East Asian nations to the Philippines in its fight against COVID-19, with the marked exception of China. More than three-fourths or 76.7% of respondents approved of aid provided by Japan, while 72.7% approved of aid provided by South Korea. However, only 33.9% approved of aid provided by China while 37.4% disapproved – the highest disapproval rating among all countries tested by more than 25 points.
PERCEPTIONS ON COVID-19 POLICIES
Enhanced Community Quarantine
85% of respondents approve or strongly approve of the Metro Manila Enhanced Community Quarantine, an increase of 0.8% from the April 13-18 survey. 10.2% neither approve nor disapprove, and 4.8% disapprove or strongly disapprove. Respondents from Poor households registered the lowest approval among all income groups at 72.81%.
Approval of May 15 ECQ Extension
78.3% of respondents approve or strongly approve of the first extension of the ECQ in Metro Manila from April 15 to May 15, 2020. 13% neither approve nor disapprove and 8.7% either disapprove or strongly disapprove. Respondents from Poor households registered the lowest approval for the extension among all income groups at 66.67%. Respondents from Upper Middle Income and Upper Income households registered the highest approval for the extension among all income groups at 88% and 85%, respectively.
ECQ Extension Beyond May 15, 2020
73% of respondents approve of extending the ECQ in Metro Manila beyond May 15, 2020. 27% disapprove. The lowest approval ratings by income group were registered among respondents from households classified as Rich (62.5%), Poor (64.04%), and Upper Income (66.67%). Meanwhile, significantly above average approval ratings were observed among respondents from households classified as Upper Middle Income (78.22%) and Middle Income (76.22%).
Leader/Institution Most Responsible for Containing COVID-19 During/After ECQ
A plurality of respondents (42%) answered that their respective mayors and LGUs are the leader and institution most responsible for containing the spread of COVID-19 during the duration of the ECQ. However, the highest proportion of respondents at 46.2% also answered that President Duterte and the national government are the leader and institution most responsible for containing COVID-19 after the ECQ.
Understanding of ECQ/GCQ Rules and Violations Thereof
More than two-thirds of respondents or 69.1% said they understand a lot of the differences between ECQ rules and those for GCQ. 28.6% said they understand the differences a bit. Only 2.3% said they do not understand the differences at all.
The highest proportion of respondents (44.9%) said they hear of anywhere between one to five instances of ECQ violations in their respective barangays per week.
Continuation of ECQ Policies During GCQ
An overwhelming majority of respondents approve of the continuation of four major ECQ policies after the transition to GCQ: mandatory wearing of face masks in public places (90.2%), physical distancing (85%), ban on mass gatherings (79.3%), and curfew hours (76.4%).
Mass Testing vs. Targeted Testing
More than three-fourths of respondents (76.9%) want the government to conduct Mass Testing which includes people without COVID-19 symptoms. 22.1% would prefer the government conduct Targeted Testing of people with COVID-19 symptoms. 1% do not want the government to conduct expanded testing at all.
The 8.6% increase in support for Mass Testing between the April 13-18 and May 5-8 runs of the survey suggests that support for Mass Testing may be growing among the panel population.
Other COVID-19 Policies
The survey listed an additional twelve existing or proposed policies concerning COVID-19. Respondents overwhelmingly approved of eleven of them: Providing frontline medical services people with additional pay (96.3%); Providing financial support to small business owners (95%); Increasing the number of families qualified to receive financial assistance under the DSWD Social Amelioration Program (94.9%); Distribution of relief packs to households under quarantine (92.4%); Immediate roll-out of National ID System to facilitate faster delivery of financial assistance and other aid to families affected by crises such as COVID-19 (90.4%); Providing government-controlled transportation services during the quarantine (88.6%); Keeping senior citizens under quarantine even after the lifting of the ECQ (86.3%); Reopening the economy in multiple phases wherein some sectors will be allowed to open while other sectors will be kept shut down (86%); Providing financial assistance to middle-class families under quarantine (84.4%); Distribution of cash transfers to households under quarantine (81.8%); Allowing controlled return to work of some employees (79.2%).
For the third survey in a row, financial support to big businesses is the only tested policy which failed to garner majority approval. Only 48.5% of respondents support the big business proposal, a 5% increase in support from the April 13-18 survey.
Reference: Mr. Aureli C. Sinsuat, PUBLiCUS Executive Director
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