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Survey Reveals Haiyan’s Impact on Filipino Households

April 9, 2014

By Eric Aseo

Marilyn Ecap, a 42-year-old street typist, is a permanent fixture at the main gate of the former Divine Word University campus in Tacloban City. For 12 years she has made a living typing documents for a fee, disrupted only when Super Typhoon Yolanda (known as Haiyan internationally) hit the city, leaving a trail of destruction and a death toll reaching over 5,000. However, five months after, Ecap is now back in business at the same spot using a second-hand typewriter, typing birth certificates, deeds of sale, and lately, death certificates. Things will get better, she said.

Tacloban relief efforts

According to latests SWS findings, net satisfaction with Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts of foreign countries was better than that of private organizations, local government, and national government. Photo/Flickr user International Organization for Migration

While Ecap’s optimism may be surprising given the magnitude of devastation, recent survey findings from the Social Weather Stations reveal that she’s not alone: a majority of Yolanda and non-Yolanda victims surveyed responded that they are very/somewhat hopeful that the areas damaged by the typhoon can still recover.

Generally, SWS has a total sample size of 1,200: 300 people each for Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, the Visayas in central Philippines, and the southern Mindanao region. However, The Asia Foundation in the Philippines funded a special sampling strategy for the regular Social Weather Stations quarterly survey, and in the December 2013 round, our support enabled another 350 people to be added to the Visayas sample size, since that was where the majority of the typhoon damage occurred. As a result, SWS was able to gather a statistically representative sample of victims of Haiyan, and just released a complementary publication, “Survey on the Impact of Typhoon Yolanda on Filipino Households,” that includes greater insight and findings into these communities.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Nationwide, those who say it will take four years at most to recover are 74 percent of adults from victim-families and 66 percent of non-victim adults.
  • Net satisfaction with Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts of foreign countries was better than that of private organizations, local government, and national government.
  • Overall satisfaction with local government relief efforts was higher among Yolanda victims than non-Yolanda victims in NCR, Luzon and the Visayas – particularly Western and Eastern Visayas, while the reverse pattern was observed in Mindanao and Central Visayas.
  • Satisfaction with national government relief efforts was higher among Yolanda victims than non-Yolanda victims in Luzon and the Visayas – particularly in Central Visayas, while the reverse pattern was observed in NCR and Mindanao.
  • Trust in the donor countries included in the survey received a boost. The United States was the most trusted country, and its net trust was at an all-time high. Australia and Japan were the second and third most-trusted countries. Taiwan and Malaysia had improvements in their trust ratings.
  • A large majority of Filipino households received the Typhoon Yolanda warning from TV (92%), nearly half (48%) from radio, 19 percent from relatives/friends, 10 percent from local officials, 5 percent from newspapers/tabloids, 5 percent from the internet, 1 percent from other sources, while a very small 0.03% did not receive any warning.
  • Nearly a fifth (18%) of Filipino households said they underestimated the strength of Typhoon Yolanda.
  • Among households who were victims of Typhoon Yolanda, over a third (37%) had a family member who lost a job or source of income during Typhoon Yolanda, 16% had someone who got sick, 7 percent had someone who got injured, 6 percent had someone who had psychological trauma, and 0.4 percent had someone who died.
  • Nationwide, nine out of 10 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.

While general optimism for recovery is high, and residents like Ecap are adapting into new jobs and sources of income, it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that four years is a long time for these communities. And while achieving full recovery is critical, so too is the goal of making this area – the second poorest in the Philippines – an even better place to live and thrive than before.

Eric Aseo is a program officer for The Asia Foundation in the Philippines. He can be reached at [email protected]. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not necessarily those of The Asia Foundation.

Related locations: Philippines
Related programs: Good Governance
Related topics: Disaster Management, Typhoon Haiyan


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