In Last SONA, Filipinos Want Duterte to Discuss Jobs, Survey Says

Livelihood is a priority for Filipinos.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Jobs are the main concern of Filipinos when asked what they would like President Rodrigo Duterte to tackle in his final State of the Nation Address or SONA, a Pulse Asia survey released hours before the annual address on Monday showed.

"Creating more jobs or livelihood" is top of mind for Filipinos at 38% followed by "improving the national economy" at 35%, and "controlling inflation" at 33%, according to the poll conducted from June 7 to 16, 2021.

Based on the survey results, Filipinos were more concerned with livelihood and economic woes than the Philippines' maritime dispute with China at 25%, fighting corruption in government at 24%, and President Duterte's centerpiece program of ridding the country of illegal drugs at 17%.

Pulse Asia
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Other issues that Filipinos prefer to be discussed in Duterte's last SONA are “plans to expedite COVID-19 vaccination” at 31%, and increasing the pay of workers, and improving the educational system at 26% each.

Charter change, an advocacy of Duterte, is the "least often mentioned issue," Pulse Asia said.

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Duterte is set to deliver his final SONA on Monday afternoon under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 26,000 lives in the country and sank the economy into the worst recession since World War II.

Nearly half of Filipino families or 49% view themselves as poor according to a June 2021 Social Weather Survey.  Of the estimated 12 million "poor" families in June 2021, 1.8 million were "newly poor," SWS said, meaning they only considered themselves as poor during the term of President Duterte.

The President had asked Congress to prioritize measures that would help uplift the country from the pandemic. These are the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investments Act, and the Public Service Act.

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