FIFTY percent of Filipinos foresee a good year ahead while only 4% expect it to to get worse, according to the First Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey conducted by the Social Weathers Stations (SWS).

The non-commissioned survey said that 50% of the 1,440 Filipino adult respondents nationwide are “Expecting their personal quality of live to improve in the next 12 months (‘optimists’)” Only 4% of respondents said they expect their lives to get worse (“pessimists”), for a Net Optimists score of +47 (percentage of optimists minus percentage of pessimists, correctly rounded). The SWS classifies this score as “excellent.”

The survey, conducted on March 28 to 31, also found that 38% of adult Filipinos said their lives improved (termed by SWS as “gainers”) and 21% said their lives worsened (“losers”) in the last 12 months. This is a Net Gainers score of +17 (percentage of gainers minus the percentage of losers), which SWS classifies as “very high.”

The classifications for Net Gainers, Net Personal Optimists, and Net Economic Optimists is as follows — Net Gainers: +20 and up is “excellent,” +10 to +19 is “very high,” +1 to +9 is “high,” -9 to 0 is “fair,” -19 to -10 is “mediocre,” -29 to -20 is “low,” and -30 and below is “very low”; Net Personal Optimists: +40 and up is “excellent,” +30 to +39 is “very high,” +20 to +29 is “high,” +10 to +19 is “fair,” +1 to +9 is “mediocre,” -9 to 0 is “low,” and -10 and below is “very low”; Net Economic Optimists: +20 and up is “excellent,” +10 to +19 is “very high,” +1 to +9 is “high,” -9 to 0 is “fair,” -19 to -10 is “mediocre,” -29 to -20 is “low,” and -30 and below is “very low”

For the second consecutive quarter, the Net Personal Optimists score remained “excellent” at +47. This is higher than the Net Optimist Score of +40 reported in December 2018. This is the fist time it has remained “excellent” for two consecutive quarters since in the period between June 2017 and June 2018, said SWS.

The Net Personal Optimists score rose in all areas except Metro Manila (+42 in March 2019 from +44 in December 2018) but this was still in the “excellent” range. In Balance Luzon, it rose from +40 in December 2018 to a record +52 in March 2019. The previous record was +47 in June 1997.

Mindanao and the Visayas also saw their Net Personal Optimists Score rise. Mindanao’s score went from +44 to +47 (both “excellent”) while the Visayas went from +34 to +37 (both “very high”).

Among the classes, SWS said “Net Personal Optimists was highest among class D with an increase of 7 points, from +41 (excellent) in December 2018 to +48 (excellent) in March 2019.”

Class ABC went from +51 in December 2018 to +46 in March 2019. Class E also saw a rise in their Net Personal Optimists score, from +35 to +39 in the same periods.

Filipinos outlook on the Philippine economy also remained rosy, with 45% saying they are optimistic that it will improve in the next 12 months while 10% were pessimistic that any improvement will be seen in the local economy.

This translates to an Net Economic Optimists Score of +35 (excellent), rising three points from the +32 in December 2018. Mindanao had the highest Net Economic Optimists Score of all the regions in March, with +44 but this is lower than its December 2018 score of +50. The Visayas also saw a decrease and is the lowest of all regions in March, with a Net Economic Optimists score of +25 from +30 in December 2018.

Balance Luzon’s score was +36 in March from +26 in December 2018 while Metro Manila was +30 from +27.

Among classes, Class E saw a decline in its Net Economic Optimists score from +30 to +28. For the other classes, the Net Economic Optimists score rose in Class ABC (from +21 to +27) and Class D (+34 to +37).

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said that the results of the SWS survey just prove that there was an improvement in quality and outlook of life for Filipinos.

“These results once again emphasize that our people see and appreciate the President’s tireless efforts to improve and bring about genuine and positive change to the nation. This is yet another loud repudiation against — and yet another wake-up call to — the critics and detractors of the Duterte administration… who continuously and deliberately ignore our achievements which redound to the benefit of the Filipino masses,” he said in a statement to reporters on Friday. — Gillian M. Cortez with a report from Arjay L. Balinbin