The government has often been the convenient target of blame when quality of life is perceived to be deteriorating
In the most recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) quality of life poll, it is glaring to find out that more Filipinos claim that their quality of life worsened than improved during the 3rd quarter of 2018. The poll is released quarterly to determine the personal perception of Filipinos on their quality of life.
While the published survey results did not specify the main cause of the statistical trend, there is a collective sense among many that quality of life has deteriorated given high prices of goods, commodities and fuel. At present, the government is hard-pressed in finding solutions to address major economic issues such as inflation and rising prices of oil in the world market, among others.
The government has often been the convenient target of blame when quality of life is perceived to be deteriorating. It is important to note that a couple of days after the quality of life poll was released, SWS published a poll on the satisfaction ratings of the Duterte administration for the 3rd quarter of 2018, which showed a 7% drop in the administration's net satisfaction ratings. The satisfaction ratings survey was undertaken in the same period as that of the quality of life survey. Hence, if we are to analyze the two different polls, the government is said to be responsible in the deterioration of one’s quality of life. Since the survey respondents generally experienced a lower quality of life, satisfaction with the national government also became lesser.
While many perceive that quality of life is generally based on material living conditions, several studies and academic research reveal that there are other dimensions in measuring an individual’s quality of life. Quality of life is also dependent on one’s health, education, leisure and social interactions, physical safety, basic rights, and natural and living environment, among others. Hence, the burden on the improvement of one’s quality of life should not be purely placed on the government’s shoulders. The basic units of society- families, schools, workplaces, communities- play a great role towards achieving a better quality of life. A multi-dimensional approach will also help compensate for the faults and misgivings of any or all units and sectors of our society.
Measuring quality of life is complicated. It is also difficult to pinpoint as to who should be made responsible and accountable for its deterioration. Our efforts should be geared towards promoting greater accountability and action from the entirety of our society, not just our government, in improving the Filipinos' quality of life.