It’s the economy: poll draws out top agenda people want for PBBM

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DAYS before his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambasa, a survey said Filipinos want President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to concentrate on the nation’s most pressing issues—the economy, corruption, high prices and inflation as well as poverty and unemployment.

The PAHAYAG 2023-Q2 results said Filipinos believe these pressing issues should be the primary focus of the President.

The survey, which gathered opinions from a diverse range of demographics, provides valuable insights into the macro and micro concerns of the Filipino population.

According to the survey results, 17 percent of Filipinos consider the Philippine economy to be the most important macro issue for President Marcos Jr. to address.

This finding highlights the significance placed on economic stability and growth by a substantial portion of the population, said the survey.

Also, it said, corruption emerged as a major concern, with 14 percent of respondents identifying it as a critical issue.

Additionally, the poll said 13 percent of participants expressed worries about high prices and inflation, while poverty and unemployment received 12 percent and 10 percent of the respondents’ attention, respectively.

The survey also revealed variations in concerns among different demographic groups.

Within the 18- to 24-year-old age bracket, poverty was identified as the topmost concern by 17 percent of respondents, said the survey.

In the 25-29-year-old demographic, the survey said jobs were seen as the primary issue, with 16 percent of respondents highlighting its importance.

Also, it said the region of Mindanao demonstrated a unique perspective, with peace and order ranking as the primary concern for 8 percent of the participants residing in the area.

Looking into micro-level concerns, the survey highlighted the difficulties households face in finding employment.  A significant proportion of 14 percent identified this as their primary concern heading into the next quarter.

Notably, among the 18 to 24-year-old non-working and low-income individuals, this concern was particularly pronounced, with 19 percent and 20 percent of respondents, respectively, indicating its importance.

Financial constraints were also highlighted, with 12 percent of participants citing insufficient pay and the inability to afford basic necessities as pressing issues.

Additionally, 11 percent expressed concerns about job loss and the impact of rising prices on their ability to purchase essential commodities.

Seniors’ anxiety

The survey identified a particular concern among senior citizens (60+ years old) who were mostly retired or approaching retirement.

“Rising commodity prices were a significant worry for this demographic,” it said.

Health-related concerns were also noted, with 8 percent of respondents expressing worries about serious diseases other than Covid-19 and their ability to access healthcare services and hospitalizations.

The PAHAYAG 2023 Second Quarter Survey (PQ2) is an independent and non-commissioned survey conducted by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. between June 7 and 12, 2023 with 1,500 respondents nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Palace and the House of Representatives are continuously conducting interagency coordination meetings to discuss preparations for the President’s second Sona on July 24.

Attendees to the Sona coordination meeting were officials from key agencies, namely, the Senate of the Philippines, House of Representatives, Office of the President and the Department of Foreign Affairs, which coordinates with the diplomatic corps as part of the regular invitees to the Sona.

According to House Secretary General Reginald Velasco,  the topmost concern is the security of the President, the Vice President, all the high-ranking officials, as well as the guests.

Image credits: Joey Razon/PNA