October 28, 2020 at 01:14 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
More than half of Filipinos were “unhappy” with the government’s efforts to solve transportation concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a study conducted by technology-driven polling and data analytics company agency WR Numero Research showed.
Based on the research, about 54 percent of Filipinos were unhappy, very unhappy and unsure of the breadth and depth of the government’s initiatives to help provide safe, secure and adequate transportation means for Filipinos during the crisis.
The balance of 46 percent were either very happy or happy with the government’s response to transport issues during the pandemic.
“As Filipinos adjust to the demands of the national health situation, they are also demanding for the government to do more to solve transport issues during the pandemic,” Prof. Robin Michael Garcia, chief executive of WR Numero Research, said.
“They are expecting the government to adopt better policies and that these should be implemented properly,” he said.
The data were culled and processed from real engagements in social media accounts of news outlets of national significance.
The study said that Filipinos demanded for more solutions in terms of public transport.
Thirty-eight percent were asking the government to add more routes in Metro Manila, the center of economic activity in the country, and where the majority of the workers are currently situated.
Likewise, 26 percent of Filipinos were calling for the return of provincial buses, while another 25 percent criticized the Department of Transportation and the administration for the apparent lack of routes and public transport supply.
As of early October, the government allowed the operation of the following PUVs in Metro Manila: 27,016 units of traditional public utility jeepney (PUJ) plying 302 routes with 27,016 units allowed; 845 units of modern jeepneys with 48 routes; 4,016 units of public utility buses plying 34 routes; 387 units of point-to-point buses with 34 routes; 286 provincial buses with 12 routes; 3,263 units of UV Express with 76 routes; 40 units of modern UV Express with two routes; 24,356 units of transport network vehicles; and 20,927 units of taxis.
The study also found that the government’s initiative to increase the seating capacity of train lines in Metro Manila was generally met with negative reactions, as 34 percent think that the directive would result in more COVID-19 cases, and another 19 percent criticized the government for this decision.
Meanwhile, the study also found Filipinos to sympathize with jeepney drivers, many of whom were displaced due to the strict health guidelines set to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Twenty percent criticized the government for insufficient assistance given to drivers, who were seen begging on the streets as their source of livelihood was suddenly stopped by the pandemic, making another 20 percent sympathetic to the drivers.
This did not sit well for a good 31 percent, who criticized the drivers and asked them to seek other sources of income. Another 20 percent accused government officials of pocketing funds that were allotted for aid.
“Our study found that Filipinos are demanding for better policies and actions on the part of the government to make life in the new normal much better. We believe that through this research, the government may form sound strategies on how to provide Filipinos with adequate, safe, and efficient modes of transportation during the pandemic,” Garcia said.
WR Numero Research used Tangere, a mobile app-based survey form to conduct a survey among 5,000 adult respondents nationwide. WR Numero Research also used its unique proprietary digital listening and sentiment analysis software called Pathos to collect and process millions of digital data, specifically Facebook data including posts, engagements and sentiments.