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DUE TO LOCKDOWNS AMID THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

SWS: Most families burdened by public transport halt, private business closures

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 08:44 PM June 05, 2020

Image: Courtesy of sws.org.ph

MANILA, Philippines — The suspension of public transportation and shutdown of private businesses and stores due to lockdowns imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic have burdened the majority of Filipino families.

This was the result of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Friday, specifically showing that 40 percent of families experienced “great difficulty” and 37 percent of families had “some difficulty” when public transportation was suspended, and 37 percent of families underwent “great difficulty” and 43 percent of families had “some difficulty” when private businesses and stores were closed.

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Meanwhile, only 22 percent said they felt “little” or “no” burden when mass transport was suspended while 20 percent said the closure of private businesses and stores had “little” or “no” burden to them.

The latest SWS survey was conducted from May 4 to 10, using mobile phone. It involved 4,010 respondents who are working-age Filipinos or those 15 years old and up.

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The survey also had a sampling error margins of ±2 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, ±2 percent for Balance Luzon, ±3% Visayas, and ±3 percent in Mindanao.

Metro Manila families most burdened

The survey likewise showed that families in Metro Manila were the most burdened – at 81 percent  when public transportation was stopped, compared to those in the Visayas (78 percent), Mindanao (77 percent), and Balance Luzon (76 percent).

Families in Metro Manila also said they were most affected when private businesses and stores ceased operations, logging 83 percent, as compared to those in the Visayas (82 percent), Balance Luzon (80 percent), and Mindanao (78 percent).

Metro Manila, which has been one of the first “high-risk” areas for COVID-19 transmission in the Philippines, was placed under enhanced community quarantine from March to May.

It was only on June 1 that the government relaxed quarantine protocols in the nation’s capital region in a bid to revive the economy. However, public transportation is still limited, with jeepneys and city buses still prohibited to ferry passengers.

As of Friday, the Philippines has 20,626 COVID-19 cases, including 987 deaths and 4,330 recoveries.

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