Majority of Metro Manila residents follow health standards but not 'always': OCTA survey

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2021 11:32 AM | Updated as of Jan 07 2021 12:26 PM

Commuters queue to take a ride at the EDSA busway-Quezon Avenue Station in Quezon City on October 06, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A large majority of Metro Manila residents claim to follow minimum health standards but not all of them do it regularly, according to a survey released by the OCTA Group.

When it comes to the wearing of face masks, compliance is at 93%, according to the non-commissioned scientific poll, which surveyed 600 people from Metro Manila aged 18 and above from December 9 to 13, 2020.

But slightly fewer at 89% practice the regular washing of hands. When it comes to wearing face shields, 83% said they complied with it while only 73% said they observed physical distancing. 

Table from OCTA Group

The OCTA group, composed of professors from the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, and Providence College in the United States, said their study has a sampling error of ±4%.


Also included in the survey are other measures taken to avoid being infected with COVID-19. Half (52%) of the respondents said they stayed at home when it is not necessary to go out.

Less than half of the respondents or 48% said they prayed, which is the same percentage of those who cover their noise and mouth when sneezing or coughing. 

Only 44% said they took vitamins while only 37% said they avoided crowded places.


Prof. Ranjit Rye of the OCTA Group told media that it is important to note that not all respondents follow the health protocols every day.

When it comes to wearing face masks, only 83% said they did it “always” while 16% said they did it “most of the time.” Only 1% said they “sometimes” wore a face mask.

The percentage of daily or regular compliance went down with other health standards. Only 77% said they “always” washed their hands several times a day while 73% said they always covered their nose and mouth when coughing. 

Meanwhile, 67% said they always observed physical distancing while only 61% always wore face shields when going out of the house. 

Table from OCTA Group


“Based on the TNM (Tugon ng Masa) survey results, the observance of minimum safety protocols and practices rises with higher educational attainment except in the practice of physical or social distancing wherein the the proportion of those who observe physical or social distancing was highest among 80% for elementary graduates as compared to only 74% for college graduates,” OCTA said in its release.

Table from OCTA Group

In terms of socio-economic class, all have high compliance to wearing face masks. Slightly more respondents from Class E (77%) said they practice physical distancing compared to class D (73%) and ABC (69%).

The OCTA Group previously revealed that only 25% of the same survey’s respondents are willing to be vaccinated. The group said it will run more surveys to see if there will be changes in the perception of the public over time.