By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Fewer Filipinos are hopeful that their quality of life will improve in the year ahead—the lowest record since August 2012, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results showed.
The third quarter SWS survey, conducted from Sept. 15 to 23 with 1,500 respondents, found 36 percent expecting their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months and nine percent expecting it to get worse, for a net score of +27, classified by SWS as “high.”
This was 17 points down from the “excellent” +44 in June 2018 (49 percent expecting to improve, 5 percent expecting to get worse) and is the lowest since the “high” +27 in August 2012.
SWS attributed the 17-point fall in net score to declines in all areas from June 2018 to September 2018.
It fell in Metro Manila, from +41 (excellent) in June 2018 to +19 (fair) in September 2018; in Mindanao, from +48 (excellent) to +30 (very high); rest of Luzon, from +49 (excellent) to +34 (very high); and in Visayas, from +31 (very high) to +25 (high).
It also declined in upper-to-middle class ABC, from +43 (excellent) in June 2018 to +17 (fair) in September, class D or “masa,” from +45 (excellent) in June to +27 (high), and class E or the poorest, from +41 (excellent) to +29 (high).
Meanwhile, 28 percent of Filipinos said their lives have improved and 30 percent said their lives have worsened in the past three months.
It translated to a net score of -2, classified by SWS as “fair.”
This was seven points below the +5 (high) in June 2018, and is the lowest since the -8 (fair) in September 2014.
It was the first time to have a negative score again, after 14 consecutive quarterly positive scores, starting in the first quarter of 2015.
SWS said the seven-point decline in the national score was due to declines in Mindanao, Metro Manila and rest of Luzon, combined with an increase in Visayas.
It fell in Mindanao, from +14 (very high) in June 2018 to net zero (fair) in September 2018. SWS said this is the lowest since the -12 (mediocre) in April 2016.
It also lowered in Metro Manila, from +1 (high) in June to -4 (fair) in September, which is the lowest since the -9 in December 2014.
It also declined in the rest of Luzon, from +9 (high) in June to +3 (high) in September. This is the lowest since the -4 (fair) in September 2014.
However, it rose in Visayas, from -11 (mediocre) in June to net zero (fair) in September.
As for optimism that the Philippine economy will get better, 31 percent remain optimistic, while 20 percent felt it would deteriorate, for a net score of +11, classified as “very high.”
This was 19 points below the +30 (excellent) in June 2018, and is the lowest since the +6 (high) in March 2015, SWS pointed out.
Net optimism for the economy refers to expectations about the general Philippine economy and is different from net personal optimism which refers to expectations in personal quality of life.