Pulse Asia Research, Inc. is pleased to share with you some findings on the Holiday Season from the November 2020 Ulat ng Bayan national survey. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from November 23 – December 2, 2020 using face-to-face interviews.

The following are only some of the key developments that took place immediately prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for the present survey:

1. The series of typhoons that hit various parts of the country in November 2020; the more serious of these weather disturbances are Super Typhoon Rolly, which made landfall four (4) times on 01 November 2020 (i.e., in Catanduanes, Albay, Quezon, and Batangas), and Typhoon Ulysses, which made landfall three (3) times in various parts of Quezon on 11-12 November 2020; the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimates that Super Typhoon Rolly resulted in 25 deaths and damages to infrastructure and agriculture amounting to about P 13B and P 5B, respectively; the agency also reported 101 deaths in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses as well as damages to infrastructure and agriculture totaling around P 13B and P 7B, respectively;

2. The massive flooding in the Cagayan Valley region due in part to the series of typhoons that hit the country one after the other that caused, in turn, the rise in water levels of the Magat Dam and the Cagayan River; President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared a state of calamity in Luzon in order to “hasten the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts” in the areas affected by the typhoons and flooding and ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to investigate mining and logging activities in Cagayan Valley that may have contributed to the disastrous situation;

3. The release of the data from Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine trials showing that the vaccines against COVID-19 developed by these pharmaceutical companies are 90% and 94.5% effective, respectively; the United Kingdom (UK) was the first country to issue an emergency use authorization for the vaccine while in the Philippines, the President also issued an order on 02 December 2020 that grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to allow emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments after a one-month review process instead of the usual six-month review period;

4. The designation of retired Army General Carlito Galvez, Jr. as the country’s vaccine czar who will be responsible for all matters related to the acquisition, distribution, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines; the latter said the “realistic” rollout of vaccines in the country is end of 2021 or early 2022 while the best case scenario is second quarter of 2021; the country’s mass vaccination program is expected to last from three (3) to five (5) years;

5. The call made by several senators to block the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), an agency attached to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), from being the entity primarily responsible for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines amounting to P 20B in light of its poor handling of the purchase of equipment and supplies urgently needed by frontline government agencies and calamity victims; a Commission on Audit (COA) report shows that as of December 2019, public funds amounting to P 33B were sitting idly in PITC bank accounts instead of being used for the procurement of goods for agencies; following the exposé on the matter by Senator Franklin Drilon, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III requested the transfer of PITC funds and the interest earned from these funds to the national treasury to augment the government’s budget for its COVID-19 response and disaster relief efforts, a request granted by the DTI;

6. The approval by the Senate on third and final reading of the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on 26 November 2020; the proposed national budget amounts to P 45T and includes bigger allocations for health, social welfare, disaster response, education, and COVID-19-related initiatives; the Senate and the House of Representatives, which approved the GAB on 16 October 2020, began their bicameral deliberations on the legislative measure on 01 December 2020;

7. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit hosted by Malaysia and held virtually on 20 November 2020 during which the member-states affirmed their determination to, among others, cooperate with each other to “successfully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts”; during the meeting, President Duterte called on his fellow chief executives to ensure universal access to COVID-19 vaccines and that no one will be left behind on the road to recovery from the pandemic;

8. The warning issued by President Duterte that many corrupt government officials will lose their jobs in December 2020 as part of his administration’s anti-corruption campaign during the remaining years of his term; the Task Force Against Corruption, created by the President to lead the campaign and headed by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra, began receiving complaints against erring officials and agencies on 06 November 2020; a reward of P 50,000 to P 100,000 was offered by President Duterte to anyone who can provide information about government officials engaged in anomalous activities; the DOJ Secretary said no entity will be spared from scrutiny and even the Office of the Vice-President will be investigated if any complaint will be filed against it;

9. The disclosure made by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that it has blacklisted 25 “non-performing or scheming” contractors since 2016 and it will conduct biddings for its procurements via livestream to enable the general public to observe the proceedings; meanwhile, the Philippines failed to pass the “Control of Corruption” indicator in the scorecard used by the Millenium Challenge Corp. (MCC), a United States (US) government foreign aid agency, and as such, it will not be able to avail of any grants from the agency in 2021;

10. The appointment of Major General Debold Sinas as the new Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief effective 10 November 2020; the latter was involved in a controversy in May 2020 when he had a surprise birthday party inside Camp Bagong Diwa despite the government regulation against holding public gatherings under the prevailing quarantine status in Metro Manila; the President’s marching order for the new PNP Chief is for him to get tougher on illegal drugs and the communist insurgency;

11. The continuation of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status of Metro Manila, Batangas, Lanao del Sur, and Davao del Norte until 31 December 2020 due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in these areas; all other parts of the country are under Modified GCQ (MGCQ) status until the end of the year; meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said it expects a sharp decline in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year due to the quarantine restrictions that have already resulted in a GDP contraction of 11.5% in the third quarter of 2020; and

12. The presidential election in the United States (US) held on 03 November 2020; due to the close races in several states such as Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, it was not until 07 November 2020 that the country’s major media networks called the election in favor of former US Vice-President Joseph R. Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris; US President Donald J. trump decried what he alleged to be widespread electoral fraud and refused to concede while the General Services Administration (GSA) withheld the $ 7.3M in transition funding that the president-elect’s team is entitled to before finally releasing such funds on 23 November 2020.

This nationwide survey is based on a sample of 2,400 representative adults 18 years old and above. It has a ± 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level.  Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 4% error margin, also at 95% confidence level. Those interested in further technical details may refer to our website (www.pulseasia.ph)

Pulse Asia Research’s pool of academic fellows takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data. In keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes.  Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.

For any clarification or questions, kindly contact Ana Maria Tabunda, Research Director of Pulse Asia Research at 09189436816 or Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia Research President via Viber or Telegram at +639189335497 or at ronald.holmes@gmail.com (via email).


For a small majority of Filipino adults (55%), there will be no difference in their families’ Christmas celebration now compared to last year; virtually all Filipino adults (91%) will face the new year with hope

According to 55% of Filipino adults, this year’s Christmas season will be the same for their families as the one they had a year ago. In particular, 36% expect the coming Christmas season to be as prosperous as last year for their families while 18% say otherwise. Meanwhile, 38% of Filipino adults opine that this year’s holiday season will be less prosperous for their families while only 8% are looking forward to a more prosperous celebration this year. (Please refer to Table 1.)

The majority assessment among Metro Manilans (60%), those in the rest of Luzon (60%), Visayans (55%), and those belonging to Classes ABC and D (62% and 55%, respectively) is one of no difference in their families’ holiday season this year compared to the previous year. However, in Mindanao and Class E, essentially the same percentages either share this view (41% and 48%, respectively) or expect a less prosperous holiday season for their families this year (48% and 47%, respectively).

During the period December 2019 and November 2020, there is a notable drop in the percentage of Filipino adults who expect a more prosperous holiday season for their families this year relative to a year ago (-40 percentage points). Similar movements occur in all geographic areas (-23 to -46 percentage points) and socio-economic classes (-30 to -57 percentage points). On the other hand, compared to December 2019, more Filipino adults now expect their current holiday season to be less prosperous than the one they had last year. This observation holds true at the national level (+27 percentage points) and across geographic areas (+20 to +40 percentage points) and socio-economic groupings (+24 to +28 percentage points). In addition, the percentage of Filipino adults who say their families’ holiday celebration this year will be the same as last year goes up not only in the Philippines as a whole (+14 percentage points) but also in Metro Manila (+12 percentage points), The rest of Luzon (+22 percentage points), and Classes ABC and D (+31 and +14 percentage points, respectively). (Please refer to Table 2.)

Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and other concerns, Filipinos have a positive attitude as far as the year ahead is concerned, with 91% saying they will face the new year with hope. This view is shared by majorities in each geographic area and socio-economic grouping (87% to 93% and 82% to 92%, respectively). Only 1% of Filipino adults are facing the coming year without hope while 8% are ambivalent on the matter. These figures are essentially the same as those recorded by Pulse Asia Research in December 2019. (Please refer to Tables 1 and 3.)