Contrary to popular assumption that working and studying from home might bring relief, an online survey during the pandemic shows otherwise.

In an online survey of 288 Filipinos conducted between April and May this year, while the country is on an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), many respondents expressed that the top two things wherein they experienced most difficulties with are: working or studying at home and their income being greatly affected by missing work days.

Another finding is that while the internet was cited as the main source of information on COVID, newspapers, despite being cited as source of information by some respondents, was reported as being the most trusted source.

In the assessment about the government’s response and pronouncements related to the pandemic, among the national government, local government, and medical experts, the respondents believe that the medical experts are the most reliable source of information, compared with the first two.

In terms of coping, the overall mechanism employed by the respondents is primarily acceptance. This is followed by self-distraction.

The study, “Feelings, Cognitions, Behaviours of Filipinos During the COVID 19 Pandemic,” was conducted by Dr. Cecilla Gastardo-Conaco, Department of Psychology, UP Diliman. The study investigated the people's feelings and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic across the timeline of the pandemic and through the various government actions.

Dr. Conaco, however, warned that given the nature of the online survey, wherein most of the respondents are likely to be middle class, and have access to the internet, the study is prone to bias. It does not capture fairly the complete representation of the various sectors of society. But the results can still be used as an important initial research to explore and understand Filipinos’ changing feelings, cognitions, and behaviors during pandemic.

The study was the first in the series of five COVID project webinars organised by the National Research Council of the Philippines of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-NRCP). The projects, billed as KTOP-COVID: Kapakanan ng Tao sa Oras ng Pandemya – COVID 19 will run from June 23, 2020 - September 2020 at 10:00 – 11:00 in the morning. The public can view the webinars in the Research Pod, the Facebook Page of NRCP.

The other research projects in the series are:

July 7: Gender-Specific Insights Based on COVID-19 Epidemiological and Socio-Economic Data, Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante - UPLB Biomathematics Team, Mathematics Division, Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics

July 21: Content Analysis of Government Policies and Issuances Regarding the 2020 Pandemic, Dr. Laufred I. Hernandez - Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Manila

August 11: Decongesting Metro Manila in the Midst of a Pandemic: A Meta-Analysis of the Balik Probinsya and Similar Programs of the Philippine Government, Dr. Clarita Carlos, STRATSEARCH Foundation, Inc.
August 25: Scoping on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) in the Philippines in the time of COVID 19 Pandemic, Dr. Elizabeth P. De Castro - Professor (retired) Dept of Psychology, UP

September 8: Defining a Gender-responsive Work-from-Home (WFH) Scheme in a Post-ECQ Scenario, Dr. Marieta Banez Sumagaysay - Executive Director, DOST-NRCP

Research and development make change happen across research disciplines including the Social Sciences and the Humanities. The Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP) is a policy advisory that also provides grants to S&T researches, including social sciences.

(S&T Media Service, Geraldine Bulaon-Ducusin)