President Bongbong Marcos during his inaugural address on June 30, 2022 | Photo by Ray Baniquet for PCCO via Wikimedia Commons
In a non-commissioned survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) from June 28 to July 1, 2023, thirty-three percent (33%) of adult Filipinos believed that their quality of life improved over the past 12 months, 45% of adult Filipinos believed their quality of life remained the same for the past year while 22% thought it got worse, referred to as losers. In other words, 67% of Filipinos believed their quality of life has not improved over the last 12.
In another recent SWS survey, the number of Filipinos who rated themselves poor increased to 13.2 million or 48% in September from 12.5 million or 45% last June. The non-commissioned SWS survey, conducted from September 28 to October 1, also revealed that 27% of Filipinos viewed themselves as “borderline.” The remaining 25% considered themselves not poor.
In other words, respondents consider themselves either poor or borderline poor.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allocated over a hundred billion pesos under the proposed P5.768-trillion 2024 budget for the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
The DBM said the proposed 2024 budget reflects the government’s commitment to fortifying health care for marginalized and disadvantaged communities, leveraging insights from the pandemic to bolster primary care units across the country. The availability of health care is headed in the right direction – covering 45 hospital days in a calendar year is better than zero days. One hundred fifty-six sessions of free dialysis are at par with the standard of care, and seniors, the indigent, and the unemployed have some form of coverage.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said there was a continuing decline in peace and order indicators, particularly index crimes, which dropped from 20,657 in January to June 2022 to 18,560 in the same period in 2023. The data do not include cybercrimes, which have reached an all-time high, prompting the PNP to consider lumping them among the major crimes to address them better. Cybercrimes were reported to have increased by around 192 percent nationwide and 152 percent in Metro Manila.
One has to remember that some crimes are reported and resolved at the barangay level. These crimes are not included in the reports.
Given significant rainfall, Metro Manila streets suffer flash flooding, which is part of life. There are planned flood control gates 64 of them. Traffic is often stifling. Let us hope the string of infrastructure projects alleviate the congestion.
Water supply within the metropolitan area has improved but remains a problem. Electricity supply is dangerously just adequate but among the most expensive in the world.
Considering there are 10-12 million overseas Filipinos and each expatriate supporting 4-5 in the Philippines, around half of the country’s population, is it any surprise that the government does not feel any urgency in solving these problems?
The Filipino among the 22% who do not consider themselves poor, attend private school, drive their cars, have backup generators, boost pump their water supply, can afford air conditioning and the electricity that runs them, the funds for any medical emergency and can afford the most expensive health care, their quality of life – is just fine. And the rest of the population can go f—— themselves, meaning fend for themselves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Crispin Fernandez advocates for overseas Filipinos, public health, transformative political change, and patriotic economics. He is also a community organizer, leader, and freelance writer.