MANILA — Malacañang said on Friday it was "sad" over a global index that showed Filipinos were less happy in 2020 compared to previous years, a development that it blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 World Happiness Report ranked the Philippines 61st among 149 countries, sliding from the country's 52nd place in the previous year's report.
"Nalulungkot tayo na naging mas kakaunti iyong mga maligaya sa bansa natin ngayon pero ito ay epekto ng pandemiya," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque
"Nandiyan naman po ang pag-asa natin sa pagdating ng mga bakuna. So, inaasahan po natin na matapos mabakunahan ang lahat, mas liligaya muli ang mga Pilipino," he said in a televised public briefing.
(We are sad that fewer our happy in our country, but this is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope is there anyway with the arrival of vaccines so we expect that after everyone is vaccinated, Filipinos will become happier again.)
Video courtesy of PTV
The Philippines has the second highest COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia. Over a year of lockdown has left businesses struggling and millions jobless.
Battling a surge in coronavirus infections, the country has received 1,525,600 vaccine doses, courtesy of a donation by China and a separate assistance from the COVAX Facility. These shots are not yet enough for the country's 1.7 million health workers, who are the top priority in the inoculation drive.
The happiness index showed Finland at the top for the fourth time, followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands. Completing the top ten are Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Austria.
In the bottom 10 are Burundi, Yemen, Tanzania, Haiti, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan.