PAHAYAG SONA: Panel unimpressed with COVID19 response of national government agencies amid economic woes

24 Aug

PAHAYAG SONA: Panel unimpressed with COVID19 response of national government agencies amid economic woes

The results of the PAHAYAG SONA survey conducted nationwide by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. from August 1-11, 2020 indicate that respondents are unimpressed with the COVID-19 responses of several national government agencies.

Out of the 13 agencies or institutions tested, only the Office of the President (61.2%) and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF (50.2%) earned majority approval for their respective responses to the pandemic.


Respondents seemed particularly unimpressed with the pandemic interventions of Congress, with both chambers ranking among the bottom four in Total Approval. Only 37.7% of respondents approved of the Senate’s response to COVID-19. The House of Representatives had the lowest approval rating among all institutions tested at 35.3%.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health notched the highest disapproval rating nationwide at 35.1% followed by the House of Representatives and the Department of Education, who tied for second place with 32.2% disapproval.

While respondents overwhelmingly approved of the government’s strict enforcement of basic COVID-19 personal safety protocols such as the use of face masks (84%), the ban on large public gatherings (80.9%), and physical distancing (78.6%), they were less enthusiastic about the government’s implementation of more complex policies such as contact tracing (61.1%) and distribution of financial aid through the Social Amelioration Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (58.8%).

Barely half of respondents (52.9%) approved of the government’s “overall treatment of OFWs and LSIs (locally stranded individuals) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.” However, more than three-fourths or 77.8% of respondents approved of the implementation of “increasing intake capacity through hospital expansion and quarantine center construction.”

Economic woes amid COVID-19

The survey results also suggest that the various restrictive quarantine policies implemented by the national government since March may have had a significant negative impact on food security and employment among respondent households.


More than half or 51.6% of respondents reported at least one instance since the start of the lockdown when their families were unable to buy food. The highest incidences of inability to buy food were reported among respondents from North Central Luzon (57.8%) and South Luzon (55.6%) — two areas placed under the two-month Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine from March to May.

Six out of every ten respondents also reported that someone in their household lost his or her job because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic-related incidences of unemployment were highest among respondents from North Central Luzon as well as those from Poor and Near Poor households.

Despite these hardships, however, respondents seem somewhat optimistic about the financial prospects of their families for the remaining months of year. 43.9% of respondents believe their financial prospects will improve either by a little or by a lot over the remaining months of 2020. Only about a quarter of respondents (26.2%) foresee their prospects worsening.

PAHAYAG SONA is a 1,500-respondent independent and non-commissioned online panel survey conducted by PUBLiCUS Asia, Inc. The panel for the survey was provided by Lightspeed GMI Singapore Pte Ltd, Profiles Division of Kantar (“Kantar”). Kantar is a leading firm in the global data industry with a panel reach 88 million respondents in 90 markets worldwide, including 100,000 respondents in the Philippines.

Invitations to answer the structured online survey questionnaire were distributed to the Philippine panel population on a random basis. Potential panel respondents were screened to possess the following characteristics: aged 18 years old and above, registered voter, and residing in the Philippines. The sample was then drawn in proportion to the registered voting population as of the May 2019 elections.

PAHAYAG is the flagship non-commissioned survey brand and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of PUBLiCUS Asia, Inc. The principal aim of the PAHAYAG brand to inform decision makers, thought leaders, the media, and the general public on the changing perceptions, opinions, and ideals of the Filipino people.

PAHAYAG SONA is the 9th PAHAYAG survey conducted and reported to the public by PUBLiCUS since the brand was established in 2017.


Reference: Mr. Jake P. Bergonia, PUBLiCUS Deputy Director