STRONG PESO HURTS  30%,  HELPS  13%;  NO  EFFECT  ON  57%

MANILA, NOVEMBER 13, 2007
(STAR) By Helen Flores - About five million Filipino families said they were adversely affected by the strengthening of the peso against the US dollar, saying their well-being has not changed much, a recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

Thirty percent of the families surveyed by SWS from Sept. 2 to 5 say they were better off before, while only 13 percent or about two million families say they are living more comfortably now with the peso-dollar exchange rate at P45 compared to when it was over P50, for a net effect of -17.

About 10 million Filipino families, or 57 percent, say their well-being has not changed much with the stronger peso.

“While a majority of families say their well-being has not changed much, the net effect of the stronger peso is negative in all areas and classes,” the pollster said.

Twenty-six percent of Metro Manila households reported that they were better off before, while 11 percent say they are better off now, or net -15.

In balance Luzon, 33 percent say they were at an advantage before, while 11 percent say they are better off now, for a net effect of -22.

Twenty-six percent of families in the Visayas say they were better off before, while 13 percent say they are living better now, or net -13.

In Mindanao, 29 percent of families say they were better off before, while 17 percent say they are better off now, or net -12.

Among class ABC families, 34 percent say they were better before, while only nine percent say they are better off now, or net -25.

Thirty-two percent of class E families claim to be living more comfortably before, while 11 percent say they are better off at present, or net -21.

Among class D families, 28 percent reported that they were better off previously, while 14 percent say they are better off now, or a net effect of -14.

The net effect on families with an overseas Filipino worker is the same, the SWS said.

Seventeen percent, or about three million families, have at least one family member currently working abroad.

Nationwide, 37 percent of OFW families say they were better off before, while 18 percent say that they are better off now, on account of the stronger peso. The net effect of -18 is about the same as the national average, the survey firm noted.

Among families without OFW members, 29 percent say they were better off before, while 12 percent say they are better off now, for a net effect of -17.

Households with an OFW member are 29 percent in Metro Manila, 16 percent in balance Luzon, 14 percent in the Visayas, and 12 percent in Mindanao.

There are relatively more OFWs among class ABC families (41 percent), compared to class D (18 percent) and class E (nine percent) families.

The SWS survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The noncommissioned survey has sampling error margins of plus or minus three percent for national percentages and plus or minus six percent for area percentages.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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