Malacañang is hoping that Filipinos will regain their happiness and confidence once the country overcomes the coronavirus 2019 pandemic, which has caused the majority of Filipinos to be less happy in 2020.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Filipinos will become happier once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to everyone.
According to the United Nation-sponsored 2021 World Happiness Report, the Philippines’ ranking fell in the latest World Happiness Report due to prolonged lockdowns, disruptions and deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippines dropped to 61st out of 149 countries in terms of happiness from its previous ranking of 52nd.
Found to be least happy were those from Afghanistan followed by Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Haiti, Tanzania, Yemen and Burundi.
Among the Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines ranked third after Singapore at 32nd and Thailand at 54th.
In a press briefing, Roque agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic made Filipinos less happy last year, saying “we are saddened that there are only a few Filipinos who are happy but this is because of the effect of the pandemic.
“Our hope is already here with the arrival of the vaccines. So we expect that once everyone is vaccinated, Filipinos will also be happier.”
He said the government’s vaccine program will inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity.
He also assured that there would be no prolonged or widespread lockdowns in the country to stop the spread of the virus, similar to last year where most of the country were placed under the very strict enhanced community quarantine for three months.
Instead of imposing a stricter community quarantine, the government has decided to implement additional restrictions in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal from March 22 to April 4 to address the upward trend of COVID-19 infections in the country.