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SWS: 8 out of 10 Filipinos wear facemasks vs. COVID-19

Majority of adult Filipinos continue to practice the minimum health standards against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) such as wearing face masks and shields, washing hands, and observing social distancing, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) has found.

In a non-commissioned national mobile phone survey conducted from September 17 to 20, the SWS asked 1,249 adult Filipinos how often they observed the four health protocols in the past month.

The survey found that 79% of adult Filipinos always use a face mask when going out of their houses, 67% always wash their hands several times a day, 60% always keep physical distance from others, and 56% always use a face shield whenever riding public transportation or going to establishments.

The SWS reported that respondents who said they always wore face masks rose slightly in September from 76% in July and 77% in May this year. 

There were hardly any changes in the number of Filipinos who said they regularly wash their hands and practice social distancing, while the question on the wearing of face masks was included for the first time in the September survey.

Pinoys “always” following protocols decline in Metro Manila

The SWS said the number of Filipinos who said they “always” wear face masks fell in Metro Manila from 90% in July to 77% in September.

“The proportion of those who always use a face mask is now highest in the Visayas at 86%, followed by Mindanao at 78%, Metro Manila at 77%, and Balance Luzon at 76%,” the report read.

The number of Filipinos residing in Metro Manila who said they “always” wash their hands also dropped from 73% in July to 63% in September.

“Those who always wash their hands are now highest in the Visayas at 75%, followed by Mindanao at 69%, Balance Luzon at 64%, and Metro Manila at 63%,” the SWS said.

Metro Manila residents who said they “always” observe social distancing likewise dipped from 68% in July to 65% in September.

“Those who always keep physical distance are now highest in the Visayas at 66%, followed by Metro Manila at 65%, Mindanao at 60%, and Balance Luzon at 56%,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the number of adult Filipinos who said they “always” wear a face shield in public was highest in Visayas at 66%, followed by Mindanao at 58%, Metro Manila at 55%, and Balance Luzon at 52%.

Compliance by educational attainment

The SWS also said that the number of respondents who said they always wear face masks and shields and keep physical distance was highest among college graduates.

“Those who always wash their hands are highest among non-elementary graduates and elementary graduates at 69% each, followed by junior high school graduates at 67%, and college graduates at 66%,” it added.

It has been over six months since quarantine restrictions were enforced in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Philippines has recorded 309,303 infections as of Tuesday afternoon, still the highest across Southeast Asia. -NB, GMA News