Some 3.5 million Filipinos stranded in July due to COVID-19 quarantines: SWS

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Locally stranded individuals at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex await their turn to avail of the government's transportation assistance program in Manila on July 28, 2020. Thousands of people, many of whom lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, have flocked to the sports stadium for the chance to get free bus and ferry rides to their provinces under the Hatid Tulong. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – An estimated 3.5 million adult Filipinos got stranded last month due to community quarantines imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to an independent Social Weather Stations survey released Wednesday.

Of 1,555 respondents, 5.1 percent said they were staying in another place when the lockdown was implemented. The figure is 0.3 percent below the 5.4 percent or an estimated 4.1 million Filipinos who got stranded in May, SWS said.

The rate was highest among Mindanao residents at 8 percent (1.3 million), followed by those from the Visayas at 5.9 percent (770,000), residents of Balance Luzon at 4.1 percent (1.3 million), and those in Metro Manila (200,000).

The survey found there were more stranded men at 6.5 percent (2.3 million) than women at 3.6 percent (1.3 million).

The rate was also highest among 18 to 24-year olds at 9.1 percent (790,000) and college graduates at 6.9 percent (820,000).

An estimated 3.5 million adult Filipinos got stranded last month due to community quarantines imposed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, an independent Social Weather Stations survey showed. Handout

The poll was conducted from July 3 to 6 using mobile and computer-assisted telephone interviewing as community quarantine measures eased in most areas of the country. It had a sampling error margin of ±2 percent for national percentages.

Government earlier said it was considering to exempt stranded individuals in Metro Manila from a travel ban as during the region’s return to a modified lockdown until August 18.

Metro Manila returned Tuesday under modified enhanced community quarantine, the second strictest lockdown level that bans non-essential travel and public transport. 

The Hatid Tulong program earlier drew flak after rains forced authorities to cram nearly 8,000 LSIs into a stadium in Manila, where they were supposed to process documents before their trips to the province. 

The Philippines on Tuesday logged another record-high number of daily virus cases at 6,352, raising the nationwide total to 112,593. Of this number, 2,115 patients died while 66,049 recovered.

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