The Department of Health (DOH) has been at the forefront of the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Led by Secretary Francisco Duque, the DOH has received both praise and backlash in the last months due to its approach to address the global pandemic—from concerns on the agency’s inconsistencies in its data to the quality of Secretary Duque’s leadership.
In this report, WR Numero sought to assess the public’s opinions towards Secretary Duque’s performance and the reliability of the DOH‘s data and information. The consulting agency also examined the public’s perception on the issue of “second wave” of COVID-19 infections in the country.
With over 5,559 respondents nationwide, WR Numero conducted a convenience survey method within the period of May 25 to 26, 2020 and data mining method of political sentiments of around 94,741 Facebook digital engagements between April 16 and May 28, 2020.
The survey result revealed that only 20% of the respondents are satisfied with Duque’s performance as DOH Secretary, while more than half trust the information and data being released by the DOH. However, a third of the respondents were unsure about Secretary Duque and DOH. The digital landscape, on the other hand, has been much critical of the Department and its Secretary. More than half of online sentiments were negative towards them, with calls for Secretary Duque’s resignation and doubts in DOH’s data due to various errors.
With regards to the “second wave” of COVID-19 infections, 6 out of 10 of those who were surveyed believe that the country is still experiencing the first wave of infections. This was followed by Secretary Duque’s announcement that the Philippines is already experiencing a second wave, which was later on opposed by Malacañang in one of its press briefings.
As such, Duque received a great deal of backlash from online netizens with 96% negative sentiments due to his misleading claims. Nevertheless, vast majority of survey respondents agree that the government should impose a community quarantine again once the second wave of COVID-19 infections come.