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Working Filipinos Today Less Anxious Compared To Start Of Pandemic

A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic and months into the rollout of the vaccines to counter the diseases, more working Filipinos have become less anxious of going out to attend to their necessities.

Respondents of the 2021 PhilCare Wellness Index: The Philippine Roadmap to the Next Normal say they are more comfortable to go to the hospital now compared to the start of the pandemic, with a mean score of 3.05 (“neither”) from a score of 3.93 (“disagree”) in the 2020 PhilCare CQ Wellness Index

For this year’s study, a total of 1,500 respondents nationwide were asked to rate themselves from a five-point scale. With regard to degrees of agreement, scores ranging from 1-1.80 represented “strongly agree,” 1.81-2.60 as “agree,” 2.61-3.40 as “neither,” 3.41-4.20 as “disagree,” and 4.21-5 as “strongly disagree.” Meanwhile, a total of 505 working Filipinos were interviewed for the 2020 PhilCare CQ Wellness Index.

Interestingly, workers have also become more comfortable in going to the supermarket, with the score jumping from 2.85 (“neither”) to 2.46 (“agree”).

While working Filipinos still “strongly agree” about washing hands properly, with a score of 1.43, this significantly lower than the 1.15 score for the same behavior last year. The same goes for disinfecting items bought outside before bringing them into the house, which also declined from 1.49 to 1.67.

“With the study, we get a better picture of how Filipino workers have adjusted after more than a year into the pandemic and how going through the new normal affects their health and wellness,” said Dr. Fernando Paragas, lead researcher of the 2021 PhilCare Wellness Index and a professor at the College of Mass Communication at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

The Philippine Roadmap To The Next Normal is the fourth PhilCare Wellness Index national survey since it was first done in 2014. This year’s study was conducted via a nationwide telephone survey from September 4-20, 2021.

“We found it very important to conduct this very relevant study at a time when people are raring to return to their workplaces while conducting them in a safe manner since the virus. At the end of the day, we want to help the economy and our fellow Filipinos move past our current situation into a healthier and safer next normal,” said Dr. Enrique Ona, Chairman of the 2021 PhilCare Wellness Index and former Health Secretary.

PhilCare President and CEO Jaeger L. Tanco said the study was undertaken to determine the state of health and wellness of employed Filipino workers who are at the center of concerted efforts to reopen the economy and reinvigorate business and industry.

“People obviously play a very key role in the effort of businesses – and the country in general – to recover from the effects of the pandemic. This study was developed and implemented with the goal of finding out how prepared employees are as they navigate the transition between the COVID-19 new normal and the prospective next normal,” he said.

“Understanding the employees gives a very clear guide on how we can all get back on our feet,” he added.  

The respondents were randomly selected from Metro Manila and over 60 provinces across the country, who are currently employed mostly in the services sector (81.9%), followed by those in the industrial (16%) and agricultural sectors (2.1%).

Demographic representation

Services and sales workers comprised the biggest group of respondents (45.9%), followed by technicians and associate professionals (15.8%), and professionals (14.7%).

Almost two-thirds of respondents (64.5%) worked for the private sector, while another 10.4% worked for the government. The rest worked as either employer in their own family-operated farm or business (7.9%), were self-employed without any paid employee (7.5%), worked for a private household (6.6%), worked with pay in their own family-operated farm or business (2.1%), or worked with pay in the same business set-up (1%).

COVID-19 and vaccination

Surprisingly, only 7.6% of respondents said they do not want to be vaccinated.

In addition, half (49.1%) have not been vaccinated, with 34.7% expressing willingness to get a shot and 14.4% having a vaccination schedule already at the time the survey was done.

A quarter of respondents (26.2%) have been fully-vaccinated, while one in five (17.1%) have gotten their first of two shots.

Four out of five respondents (82%) are confident with the COVID-19 vaccinations, having a composite score of 1.93 (“agree”). They trust the vaccines’ efficacy (1.83) and safety (1.85). Filipino workers also trust the health services that administer the vaccines (1.92), that the vaccines can end the pandemic (1.92), and the policymakers that decide on the vaccination program’s rollout (2.13).

Many Filipino workers also “strongly agree” about their right to get vaccinated (1.66), that COVID-19 is a serious risk to their health (1.69), seeking information on the vaccines (1.75), and that getting vaccinated is a way to protect others against the disease (1.77).

Almost half (46.6%) of respondents said they personally knew someone who had COVID-19. In addition, over a third (36.6%) said they personally knew of someone who died from the disease.

Healthcare as among most valued in workplace

Compared to pre-pandemic days, Filipino workers now see healthcare as among the top three things they value in their workplace, alongside good salary and financial stability of the company.

Having a healthcare program in the office ranks third with a score of 1.46, with salary as first (1.43) and financial stability of employer (1.45). Healthcare even ranks higher than the usual worker values, such as appreciation among peers, good relationship with colleagues, work-home balance, having a good boss, career growth, and skills training.

With regard to change in importance, scores ranging from 1-1.80 represented “much more important,” 1.81-2.60 as “more important,” 2.61-3.40 as “the same,” 3.41-4.20 as “less important,” and 4.21-5 as “much less important.”

In terms of percentages, around six out of ten respondents (56.9%) say that having a healthcare program in the office is “much more important” now than before the pandemic. This ranks fourth compared to those who said the same for salary (62%), financial stability of their employer (58.1%), and appreciation for their work (57.4%).

“The pandemic brought us to our senses in many ways, but in the end, it’s all about going back to basics — taking care of the human person’s basic needs, including health. This is why I believe that employers should view spending for healthcare as an investment rather than an expense. After all, having good health is a basic right,” said Dr. Ona.

“As for workers, they should understand that achieving good health in the workplace is a partnership with their respective employers. It is, in fact, a personal responsibility, which means they still must practice proper nutrition, exercise, and avoid vices as much as possible,” he added.

Health and wellness

Overall, even with the threat of COVID-19,  respondents said they perceive their overall state of health and wellness during the pandemic was “very good” with a score of 1.57 (score of one, being the highest), which was surprising because in 2019, prior to the pandemic, respondents rated their wellness as “good” with a score of 1.82.

Among the factors of wellness that saw biggest jumps in score are sense of satisfaction (“All things considered, I am satisfied with my life”) which rose from a score of 3.56 in 2019 to 1.76; self-rated health (“Overall I am in good health”) from 3.07 to 1.55, and sense of respect (“People respect me”) from 2.76 to 1.52.

Work set-up

Half (49.9%) of all respondents said they worked entirely in their respective work sites, while two-fifths (36.2%) work both at home and on-site. The rest (13.9%) work entirely at home.

But given a choice of their preferred work arrangements, roughly half (48.7%) are willing to take on the hybrid work set-up in the next six months. Around a third (35%) would continue going to their respective places of work, while the rest (16.3%) would work entirely in their homes.

Respondents agreed that their workplace was adapting well to the pandemic, especially in the following terms: having a clear strategy to respond to the economic impact of the pandemic (87.2%); having a good system in place to ensure their safety as employees during the pandemic (86.7%); and having a program for promoting their health and wellness as employees (85.3%).

However, despite the high marks given for the pandemic preparedness in the workplace, respondents “strongly agree” they are stressed at the thought of being exposed to COVID-19 (1.73) and taking care of personal and family needs while working (1.78).

Takeaway for businesses

“For this year’s study, we wanted to bring attention to our workers and their health and well-being. Our employees are the lifeblood of our companies, which power the economy. Simply said, taking care of our workforce is also taking care of our economy,” said PhilCare Chairman Monico V. Jacob.

“In our desire to become a more responsible HMO amid this continuing health crisis, we intend to launch new programs and services that would enable employers to address the needs of their employees to keep their enterprises going. In fact, we have already launched services catering to mental health concerns since many of these came out during the pandemic,” Tanco said.

25 Comments
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25 Comments

  1. Antoniette Sanchez David
    October 5, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Dahil sa nag daang pandemic at Ngayon andito padin ang problem natin unti unting nakakapag adjust na ang mga tao sa work nila at unti unti na din sila bumalik dahil need nila buhayin mga pamilya nila kaya maganda din sumunod tayo sa protocols para naman naiwan ang pag kalat ng covid sa paligid natin mahalaga ang mga gantong shinare mo mommy para sating lahat para makapag patuloy sa buhay kahit na nasa pandemic padin tayo

  2. Lovely May Ann Anicete
    October 5, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    This is one of the best post I’ve seen napakalaking tulong nito sa panahon ngayon, maganda talaga magkaroon tayo ng sariling prtocol upang sa ganon ay makaiwas tayo sa mga viruses and bacteria malaking bagay ito na may matutunan tayo sa panahon natin ngayon

  3. Mitra Lyka
    October 6, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Nakakatuwa po na kahit papaano eh nakapag adjust na po ang lahat ng tao sa NEW NORMAL at mas confident na makapunta sa ibang lugar dahil na rin sa mag pagiging maingat at bakunado na ang marami sa atin.

  4. Shane Reianna Rose Aguilar
    October 6, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    Wow ma galing talaga ng Information nato talagang ng dahil sa pandemic Madame ang na ago sa araw araw nating ginagawa Madame ang nawalan ng trabaho pero pinipilit na umahon para sa pamilya 💓

  5. Dieneth Magdaraog
    October 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. This is the new normal..we have to adopt the changes

  6. Yanpaladquisol
    October 6, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    Good news ito at karamihan sa atin nakakapag adjust na at sumusunod na sa health protocols. Lalo na sa vaccine magandang balita ung kumuknuti nalang ung ayaw magpabakuna.❣️

  7. Angel Co Metre
    October 6, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Laking tulong din ng pagiging Vaccinated sa panahon ngayon. Mas nagiging Kampante ang mga tao lumabas na ng bahay pero mas maganda paring nasunod sa mga health protocols and proper Disinfect para narin sa pamilya natin sa loob ng bahay ♥️

  8. Meriros Onilecram
    October 6, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Mas magiging safe talaga kung bakunado na lahat para sa proteksyon nadin ng lahat.

  9. Ma. Cyril Creer
    October 6, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Kilala po kasi ang mga Pilipino sa pagiging positibo at pagiging matatag .. ang survey po na ito ang ang nagpapatunay na kahit papaano ay nakakaadjust na ang karamihan sa New Normal. Kailangan lang po talagang sumunod sa health protocols at magpabakuna para mas maging protektado sa COVID virus ..

  10. Amelia lacson
    October 6, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Malaking impak na din saatin Ang bakuna kaya less kaba na Ang mga tao pero need pa din ng doubleng ingat

  11. hahnie mhae redongga
    October 6, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Thank You for sharing Momshie 💓
    this is our new normal kaya need natin mas mag dobleng ingat ..

  12. Meredith Reyes
    October 6, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    I really love it mamsh😍😍😍

  13. Meredith Reyes
    October 6, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Thankyou for sharing your information maaa😍😍😍

  14. Manilyn Dacut
    October 6, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    Good news na kahit paano malaking tulong talaga ang nagawa ng vaccine sana tuloy tuloy na para maging normal na ulit

  15. Erica Gabuya Carbo
    October 6, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Big help po talaga ito ma .. Need po talaga natin sumunod sa mga protocols like yung magpapabakuna .. Lalo na sa mga labas pasok sa bahay para maghanap buhay .. Hindi lang po ito sa pang sariling kaligtasan pati na rin sa mga kasama natin sa bahay lalo na sa mga bata ..

  16. Hazel Mary Ruiz
    October 6, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing this positive one Mommy Lhyzie. Atleast nagbabawas na ung worries kapag nagppunta ng ospital sana magtuloy tuloy na paggaling ng ibang may sakit at unti unti ng mawala ang Covid. 👍

  17. Jenniferbalucating
    October 6, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Kompara noon sagsagaan talaga ng virus eh nakakatakot ng sobra kahit na nakakatakot pa rin naman hanggang ngayon pero ndi na masiyado na woworry kasi may mga vaccines na ngayon unlike noon na wala pa kasi paing aaralan pa. At nakakaadjust na rin ang mga tao na lumabas kasi nakavacine na at sinusunod ang mga
    Health protocol at hoping na sana covid fre na talaga tayo

  18. Cristina Niegas
    October 6, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Thank u Philcare for conducting this kind of study.Lalo na at marami pa sa mga pilipino ang hanggang ngayon takot pa din sa banta ng covid 19 at delta variant.Sa tulong ng study na ito muli nang makakapagpatuloy ang marami sa atin sa kani kanilang everyday routine nang wala nang masyadong takot na lumabas para maghanapbuhay o bumili ng mga pangangailangan. Ngunit kinakailangan pa din ang ibayong pag iingat at pagsunod sa mga health protocols.At higit sa lahat magpabakuna.Pasasaan ba at tuluyan na nating malalampasan ang pandemyang ito.In Jesus name.😊🙏😊🙏

  19. Sha Quilonio
    October 7, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Mas okay na talaga sa panahon ngayon dahil vaccinated na ang ibang tao , kaya less worries na din ,at medyo nakaka adjust na talaga tayo sa new normal. Hope na mawala na itong pandemic ,thankyou for sharing this po.

  20. Sha Quilonio
    October 7, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Thanks for sharing this po it will very helpful to us lalo na’t Lahat tayo nag aadjust ngayon sa new normal.

  21. Meng Sunga
    October 7, 2021 at 11:30 am

    Such a great news! So happy to know na kahit papano ay unti-unti na tayong nakakabangon at paunti-unting nakaka-adjust sa new normal. PhilCare studies did a great job. Thanks for sharing this.

  22. Jcka Ranum
    October 7, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    So happy na nakakaadjust na Tayo SA new normal .. laking tulong Ang MGA vaccines .. Ang galing talaga Philcare .. thanks for sharing this Mommy

  23. Bonz Kee
    October 8, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Thank you for sharing this Philcare…sobrang napakalaking tulong po ang vaccine sa atin…..pero need pa rin nating mag ingat at sundin ang protocol para iwas hawa at pagkalat ng virus..

  24. Arlene dob
    October 8, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    Wow nice topic to mommy very helpful thanks for sharing.

  25. Rosebel S. De Vera
    October 11, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Gandang balita po neto, ang laking tulong po tlga n halos Lahat sa atin ay fully vaccine na kaya sna soon po tlga ay bumalik na tayo sa normal Lahat 👍😍

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