By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
More Filipinos are hopeful that their quality of life will improve in the year ahead, reaching a record-high level that was first achieved in June 2016, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results showed.
The nationwide survey conducted on December 8-16 with 1,200 respondents found 49 percent of Filipinos expecting their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months, while three percent are expecting it to get worse.
This translates to a record-high net personal optimism of “excellent” +46 (percentage of those expecting their lives to improve minus percentage of those expecting it to get worse).
It is four points above the “excellent” +42 (47 percent seeing improvement, 4 percent expecting worse) in September 2017, and matches the record-high level that was first achieved in June 2016.
SWS pointed out that net personal optimism has been excellent (+40 and above) for the past two years, except in March 2017 when it was at “very high” +36.
It attributed the four-point increase in net personal optimism nationwide to increases in rest of Luzon and Mindanao, combined with a steady score in Visayas, and a decline in Metro Manila, from September 2017 to December 2017.
Net optimism rose by one grade from very high to excellent in rest of Luzon, up by six points from +39 in September to +45 in December.
It stayed excellent in Mindanao, up by four points from +46 in September to +50 in December, and steady at very high +39 in Visayas from September to December.
It also stayed excellent in Metro Manila, although down by three points from +52 in September to +49 in December.
Across socio-economic classes, net optimism remained excellent in upper-to-middle class ABC, up by six points from +53 in September 2017 to +59 in December 2017.
It also stayed excellent in class D or “masa,” up by five points from +42 in September to +47 in December, and very high among class E or the poorest, although down by five points from +38 in September to +33 in December.
The survey also found 52 percent optimistic that the general Philippine economy in 2018 would get better, and nine percent feeling it would deteriorate, for a net optimism about the economy score of +42 (percentage of optimistic about the economy minus percentage of pessimistic about the economy), classified as excellent.
It is 12 points above the excellent +30 (43 percent optimistic, 12 percent pessimistic about the economy) in September 2017, and the highest since the excellent +43 in December 2016.
SWS noted that net optimism about the economy has been excellent (+20 and above) since December 2015.
It said the 12-point rise in national net optimism about the economy was due to increases in all areas.
It stayed excellent in Mindanao, up by 10 points from +51 in September 2017 to +61 in December 2017. This is the highest since the +66 in June 2016.
It also remained excellent in rest of Luzon, up by 17 points from +23 in September to +40 in December; in Metro Manila, up by six points from +30 in September to +36 in December; and in Visayas, up by six points from +24 in September to +30 in December.
SWS pointed out that net optimism about the economy stayed excellent in class D, up by 13 points from +30 in September to +43 in December; in class E, up by nine points from +32 in September to +41 in December; and in class ABC, although down by two points from +33 in September to +31 in December.