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Social Climate

More from the ‘Yolanda’ survey

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Social Weather Stations has just completed a 46-page monograph, “Survey on the Impact of Typhoon Yolanda on Filipino Households,” that includes many more details than its initial two reports, “13% of Filipino families were Yolanda victims; their net satisfaction rating for PNoy is +54” (1/22/2014) and “’Excellent’ net ratings for foreign countries and private orgs on Yolanda relief efforts; ‘very good’ for local and national government” (1/28/2014), and my column “Poverty, hunger and Yolanda” (Opinion, 1/25/2014).

The SWS national survey for the fourth quarter of 2013, done on Dec. 11-16, expanded its Visayas sample to 650 households, from the usual 300, thus reducing the Visayas error margin to 4 percentage points, from the usual 6 points.  This raised the national sample size to 1,550 households, from the usual 1,200, enhancing the quality of Yolanda-related items in particular, since the Visayas was the area that suffered the most.  The sample’s expansion, and the new monograph, were supported by the Asia Foundation.

The survey findings about the effects of Yolanda are based on what the heads of households say happened to their families.  On the other hand, its findings about public opinion are those of an adult drawn at random from the household, not necessarily the head.

There was sufficient warning. The Visayas had been warned earlier than the areas not in the direct path of Yolanda.  At least three days before the storm struck, 72 percent of households in the Visayas had received a warning about it, compared to 34 percent in Metro Manila, 33 percent in the Rest of Luzon, and 36 percent in Mindanao.  Fourteen percent of the household heads in the Visayas—22 percent in Eastern Visayas in particular—said they had underestimated the strength of the storm.

Families seriously harmed (nasalantâ) by Yolanda were 3 percent in Metro Manila, 11 percent in Luzon, 38 percent in the Visayas, and

4 percent in Mindanao, or 13 percent nationally speaking.  Within the Visayas, victimization was 30 percent in Western Visayas, 25 percent in Central Visayas, and 74 percent in Eastern Visayas.

Of victim-families in the Visayas, 58 percent had stayed at home during the storm, 23 percent took shelter in another private home, 12 percent went to an evacuation center, 3 percent to a church, and 3 percent elsewhere.

Harms, losses and assistance. The most common harms reported by victim-families were loss of income and illness. These were followed by injuries, psychological trauma, and deaths.

From the time the storm struck on Nov. 8, families in the Visayas were unable to work for 24 days, and lost P4,000 of income; these are medians.  For Eastern Visayas families in particular, the lost days of work were 32, and the lost income was P7,400.

Help for the sick arrived within 2 days in Western Visayas, 5 days in Central Visayas, and 2 days in Eastern Visayas; these are medians.  Help for the injured came within the same day in Western Visayas, 3 days in Central Visayas, and 1.5 days in Eastern Visayas.  Help for the traumatized came within 2 days in Western Visayas, the same day in Central Visayas, and 7 days in Eastern Visayas.

Of victims in the Visayas, 64 percent lost belongings, the most common being electrical appliances, followed by furniture, crops, the home

fully/partially, livestock, motor vehicles, miscellaneous items, and equipment used for livelihood.

Of those in the Visayas with damaged homes, 91 percent said they would rebuild in the original location—51 percent had no other land, and 28 percent said the home was only partially damaged.

Initial assistance was received by victim-families within 2 days in Eastern Visayas, the same day in Central Visayas, and 4 days in Eastern Visayas; these are medians.  The initial assistance came from the local government (40 percent of victims), local volunteers (12), family/friends (8), the national government (6), foreign volunteers (4), and private persons/NGOs (2); 29 percent received no assistance.

The morality of looting. Nationwide, nine out of ten Filipino adults said that looting in the disaster areas either of medicines or of food were acts of desperate people trying to survive, rather than acts of criminals taking advantage of the situation.

On the other hand, opinions were closely split with respect to looting of clothes.  As to looting of appliances, eight of ten said these are acts of criminals.

Everyone helped. Also nationwide, donations to Yolanda victims were given by 60 percent of nonvictim adults (Metro Manila 64, Balance of Luzon 57, Visayas 57, and Mindanao 53); their donations were primarily money.  At the same time, such donations were also given by 48 percent of adults from victim-families (Metro Manila 62, Balance of Luzon 53, Visayas 38, and Mindanao 92) , but primarily in clothes.

We will recover. Belief that the Yolanda-damaged areas will eventually recover is universal.  Nationwide, those who say it will take four years at most are 74 percent of adults from victim-families and 66 percent of nonvictim adults. In the Visayas, the counterpart percentages are 72 and 69.

Trust in foreign countries. Our great appreciation for the help that came from all over the world is clearly seen in the high net trust in several countries: United States +82, Australia +53, Japan +47, Taiwan +11, and Malaysia +8.  Even the net -17 rating of tail-ender China was a significant recovery from previously deeper Filipino distrust!

* * *

Contact mahar.mangahas@sws.org.ph. To request for the Yolanda report, write to leo.laroza@sws.org.ph.


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