MANILA, JUNE 15, 2007
(STAR) By Helen Flores - More Filipinos foresee a better economy and quality of life, according to three national surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) this year.

With the future of the Philippine economy, the SWS said optimism turned neutral only in the past two quarters, after being dominantly pessimistic for five years since July 2001.

The surveys, conducted from February to April this year, showed that 21 to 25 percent of Filipinos are expecting the Philippine economy to get better in the next 12 months, while 20 to 23 percent expect it to get worse.

“The Net Economic Optimism scores of early 2007 were neutral or slightly positive, from Net -2 to +6 (% Better minus % Worse), in contrast to the double-digit negatives from July 2001 to March 2006. It was Net -9 in September 2006 and -2 in November 2006,” the SWS said.

“Compared to the Third and Fourth Quarters of 2006, Net Economic Optimism scores in early 2007 improved in all areas.”

It ranged from Net -8 to +8 among class ABC, -4 to +7 among class D, and -1 to +2 among class E.

The SWS found that 30 to 32 percent of Filipinos expect their quality of life to improve (Optimists), compared to 10 to 13 percent expecting it to get worse (Pessimists).

“However, assessments of the past trend in personal quality of life worsened, with the percentage of losers, those saying their quality of life worsened from a year ago, going up in the last two surveys,” the SWS said.

The SWS First Quarter surveys in 2007 done in February and the special SWS surveys of March and April showed that one out of three Filipinos is looking forward to a better quality of life twelve months hence, continuing the favorable scores recorded in September and November 2006.

“The resulting Net Personal Optimism scores, ranging from Net +17 of +20 (percentage of Optimists minus percentage of Pessimists), are relatively good, though not as high as the +29 in November 2006,” the SWS said.

The SWS said Net Personal Optimism early this year was +15 to +23 in balance of Luzon, +21 to +22 in Metro Manila, +19 in Mindanao, and +12 to +17 in the Visayas.

“Optimism regarding one’s personal quality of life traditionally dominates. Only in March 2005 (oil price hikes), March 2003 (the Iraq war), September/October 2000 (Juetenggate), and early 1984 (post-Aquino-assassination) did pessimism dominate,” the SWS said.

By class, Net Personal Optimism in early 2007 was Net +9 to +31 in class ABC, +17 to +23 in class D, and +14 to +21 in class E.

In early 2007, gainers in personal quality of life ranged from 18 to 21 percent, while losers ranged from to 35 to 43 percent. Net Gainers (Gainers minus Losers) were from Net -14 to -25, the SWS said.

Net gainers in early 2007 ranged from Net -12 to -18 in Mindanao, -15 to -31 in the Visayas, -15 to -26 in balance of Luzon, and -11 to -36 in Metro Manila.

It ranged from -7 to -25 among class ABC, -13 to -26 among class D, and -17 to -24 among class E.

The SWS conducted four national surveys this year prior to the May 14 elections.

The February 2007 survey was its regular Quarterly Social Weather Survey of adults, while the Pre-Election Surveys of March, April, and early May were all taken of registered voters.

The SWS Pre-Election Surveys of March 15-18 and April 14-17, 2007 used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 registered voters, while the SWS First Quarter 2007 Survey, done over February 24-27, used 1,200 adults.

The samples for all surveys were divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The surveys have sampling error margins of plus or minus three percent for national percentages and plus or minus six percent for area percentages, the SWS said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved