QUEZON City, Philippines (March 27) – How do you spend your time every day?
At the end of every challenging day, it is normal to feel tired and drained. Its a surprise that many wake up happy and ready to make a difference in the world we live in. At certain points in our life, we become obsessed with planning ahead, but how many of us stop to reflect the actions that we did in the past.
Researching on the topic, it is surprising to find out that the Internet has no definitive answer on how an average Filipino spends his or her time.
In comparison, developed countries like the United States of America and Europe pay attention to how their average citizens do this.
The US Department of Labor through the Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes data about the subject, while Europeans measure and publish the same through the website Eurostat.
Interestingly, our neighboring countries within the Asia-Pacific region – at one time or another – dedicated research on the matter.
Other countries that are curious on how their citizens spend time include Armenia, Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Kazhakstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, and New Zealand.
The importance of understanding how people spend their 24 hours should not be underestimated. As impressively articulated in one of the articles published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) , data on the ways in which people allocate their time among daily activities can be used to answer questions on a broad range of economic and sociological issues. Time-use data could contribute to research and policy analysis in a number of areas such as productivity, income, education and people’s well-being.
There are a few published data about how Filipinos spend their time that are indeed interesting and thought-provoking. One privately funded study showed that on the average, Filipinos spends 1000 hours on congested roads every year. This accounts for almost 3 hours of lost productivity per day. This data should prompt our authorities to consider multiple possible measures to reduce road congestion and reduce productivity loss.
Another interesting datum that was published just recently highlighted Filipinos increasing use of the internet, particularly social media. In an article based on the report “Digital 2017,” it was highlighted that Filipinos are the world’s number one in terms of number of hours spent on social media. In the said report, Filipinos reportedly spend an average of 4 hours and 17 minutes per day on social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. This is interesting because we are one of the countries with the slowest internet in the world.
Another interesting fact is that, among the top users of social media are Brazil and Argentina. Is there any statistical evidence that links the workforce productivity to use of the social media?
Clearly, these pieces of the puzzle are just random representations of our social concerns. The bigger chunks of the important information that we need are still out there, waiting to be discovered and used. In a country where close family ties are valued, it is also worth asking how many hours average Filipino worker spends with his or her family.
Truly, understanding how the Filipino spends his or her time will let us understand the struggles and challenges that a common citizen faces every day. These are powerful data that could guide our leaders in crafting policies and initiatives to help every Filipino in ensuring that they spend most of their time to the things that really matter.
OECD. Society at a Glance: Chapter 1: How do People in the Asia/Pacific Region Spend their Time?. 2011
Ordinario, Cai. Pinoys waste 28,000 hours in ‘traffic’. 05 March 2015
Ploeg, MV et. al. Time-Use Measurement and Research. 2000
Camus, M. PH world’s No. 1 in terms of time spent on social media, 20`17
(written by Francis Albuen, edited by Jay Paul Carlos, additional research by Vince Alvin Villarin)