MANILA, Philippines — A recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that more Filipinos expect their quality of life to improve in the next 12 months despite the global economic crisis.
The Fourth Quarter 2008 Social Weather Survey, conducted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, showed that 30 percent of Filipino adults expect their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months, an increase from 26 percent three months ago.
The non-commissioned survey showed 15 percent of respondents expect their personal quality of life to get worse, an improvement from 17 percent reported last September.
“This brings the Net Personal Optimism (percent Optimists minus percent Pessimists) back to fair +16 after being merely mediocre, ranging from +9 to -6, during the first three quarters of 2008,” the SWS declared.
The pollster said Net Personal Optimism has been at double-digit positives, ranging from 14 to 29, from September 2006 to December 2007.
On the matter of the change in Personal Quality of Life compared to twelve months ago, the same survey found those saying their lives had worsened (Losers) slightly eased from 47 percent in the previous quarter to 43 percent, while those saying their lives had improved (Gainers) rose from 15 percent to 19 percent.
“This brings the latest Gainers-Losers gap (percent Gainers minus percent Losers) to a low -24, improving from the very low levels during March to September 2008, ranging from -31 to -50,” the SWS said.
SWS said optimism that the Philippine economy would get better (Economic Optimists) went from 13 percent in September 2008 to 18 percent in December.
On the other hand, pessimism (Economic Pessimists) went from 37 percent to 38 percent, bringing the Net Economic Optimism score (percent Economic Optimists minus percent Economic Pessimists), down slightly from low -24 to –20, the SWS said.
“Net Economic Optimism has been at low to very low levels over the past five quarters, ranging from -20 to -39,” the survey firm said.
SWS said personal optimism rose in all areas. Net Personal Optimism in Metro Manila rose from “mediocre” +8 in September 2008 to a “fair” +15 in December. It used to be at mediocre levels for four quarters from December 2007 to September 2008, ranging from +9 to -9, the SWS said.
It rose by nine points in balance Luzon, from mediocre +8 to fair +17, by five points in the Visayas, from mediocre +6 to +11, and by three points in Mindanao, from fair +14 to +17.
Net Personal Optimism rose from mediocre -5 to fair +19 in class ABC, from mediocre +9 to fair +14 in class D, and from fair +13 to +18 in class E, the SWS said.
Compared to the previous quarter, the SWS said the number of Losers exceeding Gainers eased in most areas.
The Gainers-Losers gap went from very low -44 to low -28 in Metro Manila, from very low -31 to low -21 in balance Luzon, and from very low -32 to low -22 in Mindanao.
However, it slightly worsened in the Visayas, from low -28 to very low -30, the SWS said.
The Gainers-Losers gap narrowed from very low -39 to mediocre -14 in class ABC, from very low -34 to low -22 in class E, and from very low -31 to low -26 in class D, it said.
The survey also found economic pessimism eased in most areas.
Economic pessimism eased in balance Luzon, from a Net Economic Optimism score of low -28 in September to low -21 in December.
Net Economic Optimism improved by four points in Mindanao, from mediocre -17 to -13, and by three points in the Visayas, from mediocre -18 to -15.
SWS said economic pessimism remained high in Metro Manila, worsening from very low net -33 to -37.
It eased in class E, from low -22 to fair -8, and in class ABC, from very low net -30 to low -22. It stayed at low -24 in class D, the SWS said.
The SWS survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults in Metro Manila, the balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Sampling error margins of ±2.5 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao, and ±4 percent for Balance Luzon were applied, the SWS said.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said Filipinos are inherently optimistic about their future and that this, along with other qualities, make Filipinos among of the most sought after laborers around the world.
He said the optimism showed by Filipinos about their personal quality of life as indicated by the SWS survey is an accurate representation of how Filipinos are compared to other cultures.
“Filipinos are a resilient people. Filipinos are an optimistic people,” Recto said.
He said there is reason for Filipinos to be optimistic, considering that the Philippines has a young population compared to other countries.
“So there’s no reason why the Philippines should not be among the top 10 in the world considering the resources available to us, the weather available to us,” Recto said.
“There is no country in the world that does not like Filipino workers. Filipinos are very loyal people,” he added. –Helen Flores with Marvin Sy, Philippine Star