Filipino optimism still high—SWS

By Jayson P. Leguiab

MANILA—Problems hounding the county is never a hindrance to be positive about the future as the recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey shows very high optimism among Filipinos and even improved to just short of the record-high level.

The SWS study, a result of the end-November poll and published on its media partner BusinessWorld Tuesday, showed 42 percent of the respondents saying they expect the quality of their lives to improve in the next 12 months, compared to the 7 percent who claimed otherwise.

The SWS poll showed significant gains among the ABC class, where their “net personal optimism” score (the difference between optimists and pessimists) rose to +35, up from +32 three months earlier and just one point below the record +36 posted a month before President Benigno Aquino took his oath of office.

SWS classified all three scores as “very high,” adding that since September 2009, net personal optimism has remained above +20 (“high”).

Optimism regarding the economy also remained “very high” with 39 percent saying it would get better this year while only 8 percent said it would worsen, putting the net economic optimism score at +30, similar to the +29 recorded three months earlier.

The record high +39 also hit in June last year prior to negative double-digit net economic optimism in 30 of 46 surveys from September 1998.

Asked to look back a year that passed, 30 percent of the respondents said their lives had worsened (losers) while 25 percent said it was better (gainers), for a “fair” net gainers and losers score of -5 – barely a change from the -2 in the previous quarter.

Personal optimism was “very high” in all areas and socioeconomic classes, the SWS said.

Net personal optimism improved to a “very high” +38 in Balance Luzon (Luzon minus Metro Manila) from a “high” +29 three months earlier.

It stayed at a “very high” +41 and +32, respectively, in Metro Manila and in Mindanao.

Despite a three-point drop to +30, net personal optimism also remained “very high” in the Visayas.

A 28-point gain was recorded among the ABC class to +52, while much lower increases were noted among the class E (six points to +32) and D (one point to +35).

Net economic optimism, meanwhile, was also “very high” in all areas and classes.

It rose five points to +31 in the Balance Luzon and three points to +41 in Metro Manila but fell two points to +30 in Mindanao and four points to +23 in Visayas.

By class, net economic optimism increased 24 points to +47 among the class ABC; three points to +32 among the class E; and was “barely changed” (+28 from +30) among the class D or the “masa.”

The net gainers-losers score, meanwhile, fell five points but stayed “high” at +4 in Mindanao; lost six to a “mediocre” -14 in the Visayas; and plunged by 11 to a “fair” -7 in Metro Manila. It stayed “fair” (-5 from -7) in Balance Luzon.

It rose to a “very high” +10 among the ABC class (a 31-point gain) and the SWS said a double-digit positive had not been scored in over 14 years.

The SWS had recorded a +12 in June 1997 in this category.

Among the class E, the net gainers-losers score rose by nine points to a “fair” -3, while that for the masa dropped an identical number of points to a “fair” -7.

For net personal optimism, the SWS classes scores of +30 and above as “very high.”

Scores in the +20 to +29 range are considered “high” as they are beyond that normally expected, or are above the category containing the median and the mode (+10 to +19, tagged as “fair”).

For net economic optimism and net gainers-losers, the SWS places the most common answers, the median and the modal, in the “low” and “very low” categories.

“Fair” is assigned to the negative category (-9 to zero) as this is above what is normally expected, while “mediocre” is assigned to the set between “fair” and “low” (-19 to -10).

Scores of +1 to +9 are “high” while +10 and up are “very high.”

The SWS survey, conducted from Nov. 27-30, used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide. Error margins of ±3 percent for national and ±6 percent for area percentages were used in the survey.

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