'Things are looking up,' Palace tells Filipinos who say life got worse


Posted at Dec 23 2020 05:42 PM

'Things are looking up,' Palace tells Filipinos who say life got worse 1
A worker disinfects a nativity scene display at a shrine amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Manila, Philippines, Dec. 17, 2020. Lisa Marie David, Reuters 


MANILA — "Things are looking up," Malacañang said on Wednesday as it sought to boost public optimism, after an opinion poll revealed that 3 in 5 Filipinos said their quality of life worsened this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic left businesses struggling and millions without job. 

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Monday showed 62 percent of Filipinos said their life got worse in the last 12 months, up by 28 points from the “catastrophic” -76 last September. 

This survey result is "not surprising," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. 

"Year 2020 has been a challenging year for the Philippines with lockdowns adversely affecting the socioeconomic condition of our people," he said in a statement. 

"However, things are looking up. The economy has reopened which means more livelihood opportunities have become available," he added. 

The latest SWS survey indicated that hunger among Filipino families eased to 16 percent from a record-high of 30.7 percent. 

Unemployment also went down to 8.7 percent in October 2020 from a high of 17.7percent last April 2020, said Roque, quoting a survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). 

"Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay (protecting lives for livelihood) will continue to be our direction in 2021 with the opening of more industries to revitalize our economy and stimulate growth for the betterment of the lives of our people next year and beyond," Roque said. 

The Philippines has tallied some 464,000 coronavirus infections in an unabated first wave that prevented the economy from full reopening. The government has started easing restrictions and is banking on vaccine candidates to boost the economy, which the pandemic dragged into recession.


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