Filipinos’ perceptions on quality of life amid the pandemic were the focus of discussion in the webinar “Kumustahin ang Bayan,” launched on Aug. 6.
“Kumustahin ang Bayan,” the first in the webinar series “#PILIpiLUNAS 2022: Pagbangon at Pagsulong sa Magandang Buhay at Bukas,” (#PILIpiLUNAS 2022) had experts answering the question: “What issues will matter most for the national elections in 2022?”
In his message, UP Diliman (UPD) Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo said, “Nation-building has always been at the core of the University’s mission. With this #PILIpiLUNAS 2022 series, we hope to put UP scholarship and expertise to bear on the pressing issues of our time.”
Speakers at the webinar were Pulse Asia president, Dr. Ronald Holmes; Social Weather Station president, Dr. Mahar Mangahas; National Economic and Development Authority undersecretary, Rosemarie Edillon; and Focus on the Global South co-chair, Dr. Walden Bello.
Holmes said the pandemic will be an important factor in voters’ preferences next year. Nine out of 10 Filipinos cited problems in the government’s handling of the pandemic: lack of financial aid, inefficient system of vaccination, and uneven enforcement of the law. “Other important issues identified by Filipinos for the upcoming elections include controlling inflation, increasing workers’ pay, improving employment, and reducing poverty.”
Mangahas noted that poverty is of major concern to Filipinos during the pandemic.
“In a June 23 to 26 survey, 48 percent of the respondents saw themselves as poor and 29 percent as borderline poor, while only 23 percent said they were not poor,” he said.
Edillon said, “The government’s development plan, AmBisyon2040, needs to be re-evaluated in light of the pandemic, which has raised the demand for food, health, and digital connectivity systems.”
Meanwhile, Bello stressed the need to grow agriculture, from which more than 50 percent of the population earn their livelihood. To this end, he called for the completion of agrarian reform and provision of support services to beneficiaries.
#PILIpiLUNAS 2022 is a webinar series organized by the UPD Task Force on a Blueprint for Building the Nation (Task Force Nation-Building), and initiated by the UPD Office of the Chancellor, with the UPD Office for the Advancement of Teaching and the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies’ Political Economy Program as co-sponsors. The series features research on high-impact policy issues by members of the academic community, presented to stakeholders and the public. It will culminate in a policy dialogue with political candidates and parties early next year. The series will run from August 2021 to March 2022. — With a report from the Task Force Nation-Building