The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will recommend to the Metro Manila Council an expanded curfew in the National Capital Region (NCR) amid an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The DILG will recommend a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the whole of NCR, according to a report on GMA’s “24 Oras.”
At present, Metro Manila cities have varying curfews. San Juan on Tuesday was the first to re-impose its city-wide curfew, also from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., in a bid to control rising coronavirus infections in communities.
To monitor health protocol violators, the Interior department has tapped the Philippine National Police, which will deploy its Special Action Force, especially in areas with high COVID-19 cases.
“It’s a crackdown to strictly implement the ordinances passed by the LGUs, especially here in Metro Manila,” DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said.
Under City Executive Order No. FMZ-072, only health workers, essential government and private workers, security personnel, public transportation, and delivery drivers, as well as those who have health emergencies, are exempted from the curfew hours in San Juan.
This developed as fewer Filipinos observed social distancing than wearing face masks and face shields, according to a Tugon ng Masa survey conducted by OCTA Research.
The results, released on Tuesday, showed only 67 percent of Filipinos were observing social distancing, lower compared to the 91 percent who are wearing face masks and 82 percent wearing face shields.
“While majority of adult Filipinos comply with the minimum Public Health Standards set by the Department of Health, less are able to observe social distancing,” the researchers said.
A total of 1,200 respondents were interviewed with a ±3% margin of error. The survey was conducted from January 26 to February 1. The survey utilizes a sampling design that allows for a 95 percent confidence level, the researchers said.
In terms of frequency in compliance, fewer adult Filipinos are observing social distancing frequently or regularly compared to the wearing of face masks.
Only 68 percent of adult Filipinos are regularly observing physical distancing when meeting other people outside their house, according to the survey.
The survey also showed that only 64 percent of adult Filipinos are regularly wearing face shields when going out.
More adult Filipinos are using face masks more frequently or regularly than other precautionary measures, with 89 percent saying they always or regularly wear face masks when going out of their house.
In the same Tugon ng Masa survey, almost three quarters or 73 percent of Filipinos believe they became closer to their family members due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many to stay home to avoid infection. Willie Casas
However, the same survey also showed that 50 percent of the 1,200 respondents aged 18 and above lost their jobs or sources of income, while 28 percent experienced emotional problems like stress or extreme sadness.
For those who experienced closer ties with their family, the highest percentage was recorded in the National Capital Region and Balanced Luzon with 80 percent and 82 percent, respectively.
Visayas and Mindanao, meanwhile, recorded 56 percent and 63 percent, respectively.
In terms of socio-economic class, more Filipinos in Class ABC experienced being closer to their family at 82 percent as compared to Class D (73%) and Class E (65%).
Regarding the economic implications of the pandemic on adult Filipinos, the survey showed that 50 percent of the respondents lost their job or income source because of the pandemic.
The highest percentage of Filipinos losing their job or source of income was noted in NCR (60%), while the lowest was observed in Visayas (45%).
The lockdowns implemented to prevent COVID-19 transmission have driven many businesses to temporarily or permanently close, causing the country's unemployment rate to soar to a record-high 17.7 percent equivalent to 7.3 million unemployed Filipinos, in April last year.
The source of income of Class ABC was observed to be less affected by the negative impact of the pandemic compared to the other classes, with only a third of them (36%) losing their job or source income as compared to more than half for Class D and Class E (51% and 57%, respectively).
In addition to the loss of a job, a little less than half, 46 percent, of adult Filipinos had their salary or income decreased.
Balance Luzon has the lowest percentage of adult Filipinos (35%) who experienced a decrease in their salaries, while more than half of adult Filipinos residing in NCR (53%), Visayas (52%) and Mindanao (59%) experienced salary decreases.
As with Filipinos losing their job, higher percentages of adult Filipinos belonging to Class D and E experienced decreases in salary compared to those Filipinos in Class ABC.
OCTA Research also noted that 28 percent of adult Filipino respondents experienced emotional problems like stress or extreme sadness.
"Geographically, the highest percentage of respondents who experienced emotional problems was observed in adult Filipinos residing in NCR (40%)," the group said.
In terms of socioeconomic classifications, experiencing emotional problems occurred more among Class E at 35 percent compared to the other classes, OCTA added.
"It is also significant to note that some adult Filipinos experienced mental health problems such as depression (9%), with most of the responses coming from Mindanao (11%). On the other hand, a relatively lower incidence was observed in Filipino adults belonging to Class E (5%)," OCTA said.
On the other hand, becoming a locally stranded individual (3%), experiencing severe illness (1%), and experiencing abuse (1%) were the event/s experienced by adult Filipinos due to the pandemic.
"On a positive note, some of the respondents recorded getting a job or source of income (2%) and having their salary or income increased (2%) despite the pandemic," OCTA said.