SWS: Number of optimistic Filipinos dips

FILIPINOS' optimism over quality of life has declined by five-percentage points, according to March 25 to 28 survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The poll, which was first released by news publication Business World, found that 43 percent are "optimists," as they expect that their quality of life will improve in the next 12 months. This was however five-percentage points down from 48 percent in December 2016.

Six percent were described "pessimists" because they project their quality of life in next 12 months to become worse.

This yielded a net personal optimism score of "very high" +36, lower by nine percentage points compared to "very high" +45 net optimism in December.

Net optimism rating was recorded lowest in Duterte's bailiwick in Mindanao, at "very high" +32 from +54 in December. Manila posted the highest net optimism score at "very high" +43, and was followed by Balance Luzon ("very high" +37), and Visayas ("very high" +34).

On the change in quality of life over the past 12 months, 35 percent described themselves as "gainers," believing that their lives improved, while 19 percent said they are "losers" with their lives worsen.

Net gainers were registered at "very high" +16, which remains the same from the December poll.

The survey also showed that 47 percent of respondents are expecting that the Philippine economy will get better while only nine percent think otherwise, yielding a net optimism score of "very good" +39 about economy.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the net personal optimism score of "very good" +36 could be attributed to respondents feeling the pinch of inflation last March, following the increase in electricity cost due to the Malampaya maintenance shutdown and upward price adjustments in gasoline, diesel, kerosene and LPG.

Abella assured that government did everything to stabilize the power supply throughout the country and to manage our inflation rate within the government target.

"The administration remains focused in bringing prosperity to all, especially to the disadvantaged and marginalized sectors," Abella said.

"We have therefore initiated several pro-poor undertakings, such as free medicine to indigents, higher pension for seniors, increased combat duty pay and combat incentive pay for soldiers and policemen, additional rice subsidy to our conditional cash transfer recipients, and the microfinancing system, which we have already piloted in some areas," he added.

The SWS interviewed 1,200 respondents using error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, and ±6 percent for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. (SunStar Philippines)
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