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SWS: Optimism rebounds in economy, quality of life

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FILIPINOS’ optimism over personal quality of life and the Philippine economy rebounded to “excellent” ratings in a fourth quarter survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The Fourth Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted among 1,440 adults from Dec. 16 to 19, 2018, showed 45% of respondents expecting their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months while 5% expect it to get worse. This led to a Net Personal Optimists score of “excellent” +40, 13 points higher than the “high” +27 in the third quarter last year.

The noncommissioned survey also found 43% optimistic that the economy next year would get better, and 11% “feeling it would deteriorate,” the poll said. This led to a Net Economic Optimists score of “excellent” +32, 21 points up from a “very high” +11 in September 2018. SWS also said this is “the highest” since the “excellent” +42 in December 2017.

The survey also found 37% of respondents saying their lives improved (“gainers”) and 25% saying their lives worsened (“losers”). This led to a net gainers score of a “high” +12, which the polling group said “is a recovery from the -2 (fair) in September 2018 and +5 (high) in June 2018, after declining from the +19 to +23 (very high to excellent) levels of September 2016 to September 2018.”

SWS said net gainers rose in all areas, especially in Mindanao (from a “fair” net zero in September 2018 to a “very high” +18 in December) and Metro Manila (from a “fair” -4 in September to a “very high” +14 in December).

Net gainers also rose in all classes. Among Class E, net gainers rose from a “mediocre” -14 in September 2018 to +12 in December, “the highest since the +15 (very high) in December 2017,” SWS said.

The survey also said the 13-point rise in net personal optimists nationwide was due to increases in all areas, especially in Metro Manila (from a “fair” +19 in September 2018 to an “excellent” +44 in December) and Mindanao (from a “very high” +30 in September to “excellent” +44 in December).

Net personal optimists also rose in all classes, especially Class ABC (from a “fair” +17 in September 2018 to “excellent” +46 in December).

SWS said net economic optimists also rose in all areas, especially in the Visayas (from a “high” +1 in September 2018 to “excellent” +30 in December), and in all classes.

The survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews with respondents: 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao, with sampling error margins of ±2.6% for national percentages and ±5% each for the said areas.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in part that the survey “validates previous research studies showing a decline in hunger, a decrease among Filipino families who consider themselves as ‘mahirap,’ (poor) and an overwhelming number of Filipinos entering 2019 with hope.”

“This is another repudiation against the skeptics, left-leaning groups, militant Church members and the political opposition, who ignore or refuse to heed the people’s voice and see nothing good in the President’s tireless efforts to improve and bring about genuine and positive change to the nation,” Mr. Panelo also said. — V.M.M.Villegas





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