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Filipinos still upbeat about future, survey shows

Publication Date : 20-12-2013


The positive outlook of Filipinos for the future remained “very high” and rose in the third quarter but the number of those who expected the economy to improve remained the same, the latest survey showed.
Forty percent of Filipinos expect their life would improve in the next 12 months, while 6 per cent expect their life would get worse, resulting in a “very high” net personal optimism score (optimistic minus pessimistic) of plus 35 points, SWS said.

The figure is 7 per cent points up from the second quarter’s net personal optimism score of plus 28 (35 per cent optimistic, 7 per cent pessimistic).

On the other hand, Filipinos’ outlook on the economy remained the same from the second quarter’s figure as 33 per cent of respondents said it would get better in the next 12 months, while 16 per cent said it would get worse, resulting in a net economic optimism score of plus 17 points.

The survey involving face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adult respondents nationwide was conducted on September 20-23, three weeks before the magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck Bohol on October 15, six weeks before Supertyphoon “Yolanda” devastated the central Philippines on November 8, and just over a week after the siege of Zamboanga City broke out and continued until September 28.

The survey had an error margin of plus or minus two percentage points.

It also asked respondents about their quality of life in the last 12 months.

Some 36 per cent said their quality of life over the previous 12 months had worsened (losers), while 24 per cent said it had improved (gainers), resulting in a net score (gainers minus losers) of minus 12 points. This figure was worse from the previous figure of minus 6 points posted in June.

Personal optimism by socioeconomic group rose 17 points in Classes ABC (plus 49 from plus 32), by 6 points among Class D (plus 33 from plus 27), and by 5 points in Class E (plus 36 from plus 31).

By location, personal optimism rose by 5 points in Luzon outside Metro Manila (plus 37 from plus 32), 11 points in the Visayas (plus 29 from plus 18) and 11 points in Mindanao (plus 35 from plus 24). It however fell 2 points in Metro Manila (plus 35 from plus 37).

Economic optimism
Economic optimism also declined in Metro Manila by 17 points (plus 5 from plus 22). It remained almost unchanged in Balance Luzon (plus 23 from plus 22) and in the Visayas (plus 11 from plus 13). It rose by 8 points in Mindanao (plus 16 from plus 8).

By socioeconomic group, an improvement of 16 points was posted by Classes ABC (plus 28 from plus 12) while it remained almost unchanged in Class D (plus 17 from plus 16). It, however, fell by 9 points among Class E (plus 13 from plus 22).

Malacanang, meanwhile, said the latest SWS survey once again demonstrated the Filipinos’ resilience despite the series of natural and manmade tragedies that hit the country in the second half of the year.

“We salute the optimism and resilience of our people in their steadfast determination to attain a higher quality of life and a better future,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma.

Attitudes, mindsets
Coloma in a briefing said that “attitudes and mindsets shape behavior and spur people to action”.

“This upbeat outlook spurs us to intensify our efforts to sustain our creditable growth rate that enables many more Filipinos to join the mainstream of economic opportunity,” he said.

Asked to explain the “very high” optimism of the survey respondents amid the tragedies, Coloma said:

“That’s what we call remarkable resilience despite overlapping (patong-patong na) disasters. In my view, it is also because of the ‘only in the Philippines’ virtues of compassion (malasakit) and solidarity (bayanihan).”—Marielle Medina, Inquirer Research and Michael Lim Ubac


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