MANILA – “The worst trend in survey history.”

So said the Social Weather Station in its May 2020 survey where 83% of Filipino respondents claimed the quality of their lives worsened in the last 12 months.

Only 10% of the SWS survey, which was released Thursday, showed respondents who said the quality of their lives remain unchanged even as 6% (six percent) claimed they got better (gainers).

The “worst trend in survey history” is a proportion of “losers,” a term used by SWS for respondents who reportedly had a worse quality of life.

The May 2020 survey is a new record in the 37-year series of 135 SWS surveys that smashed the previous record of 62 percent of “losers” in June 2008.

The number of “gainers” meantime is a new all-time low, breaking the previous record of nine percent “gainers” in July 1985 the SWS said.

“The May 2020 net gainers score of –78 (gainers minus losers, correctly rounded), is the worst in survey history, breaking the previous record low –50 in June 2008. It plummeted from a very high +18 in December 2019,” the SWS said.

The gainers on the other hand, had been constantly negative the SWS said adding that from 1983 onwards, only 16 percent of the 135 readings were positive, while 84 percent were zero or negative.

“The negative May 2020 score, however, is a break from the positive trend of the past 5 years. Of the 20 observations between March 2015 and December 2019, 19 were positive. Notably, this already accounts for 90% of all positive scores recorded by SWS.”

The net gainers score of –78 is the result of very low (–30 and below) scores in all areas nationwide with the lowest recorded in Visayas at –82, followed by Mindanao at –80, Metro Manila at –77, and Balance Luzon at –75.

SWS’s most recent survey was conducted between May 4 to 10 using mobile phones and computer-assisted telephone interviews with 4,010 working-age Filipinos nationwide or those aged 15 years old and above.

Respondents from Metro Manila were 294, 1,645 from Balance Luzon, 792 from the Visayas, and 1,279 from Mindanao.

SWS used sampling error margins of ±2 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, ±2 percent for Balance Luzon, ±3 percent Visayas, and ±3 percent in Mindanao.

The drop in Filipinos’ quality of life may have been affected by the country-wide quarantine / lockdown measures due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that were imposed in the country since March, affecting numerous industries and displacing millions of workers nationwide.

ECQ, GCQ areas

SWS likewise noted that the net gainers score is equally poor in enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine areas at –77 and –78, respectively.

The ECQ and GCQ area classification in the SWS report is based on Executive Order 112, which placed the following areas under ECQ up to May 15: Metro Manila,Central Luzon (except Aurora Province), Region IV-A, Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Cebu, Bacolod City, and Davao City.

All other areas were placed under GCQ status.

“The score is extremely low (–40 and below) both among families that experienced moderate hunger (“only once” and “a few times”) at –89 and among families that experienced severe hunger (“often” and “always”) at –84,” the SWS said. (ia/