By Dhel Nazario
An increased number of Filipinos expect their quality of life to worsen in the next 12 months, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said.
The survey, which was conducted from May 4 to 10 among 4,010 respondents, found that 43 percent expect their quality of life to worsen (pessimists), versus 24 percent expecting it to stay the same, and 24 percent expecting it to improve (optimists) in the next 12 months.
The SWS said the 43 percent proportion of pessimists is the new peak in the 37-year history of 135 SWS surveys, breaking the previous record 34 percent in March, 2005.
Meanwhile, the 24 percent optimists is just 4 points above the record-low 20 percent in October, 2000, and March, 2005.
In another survey which was conducted from May 4 to 10 among 4,010 respondents, it found that 83 percent said their quality of life got worse (termed by SWS as Losers), while 10 percent said it was the same (unchanged), and only six percent said it got better (gainers), compared to a year ago.
Of the three groups, only the losers recorded a negative net personal optimism score (percentage of optimists minus percentage of pessimists) at –25. They are followed by the unchanged at +10, and the gainers at +24.
Gainers from the past are always the most optimistic, and losers are always the least optimistic about the future. In the four surveys of 2019, the Net Personal Optimism scores were high or better in all groups, even for Losers. The scores also generally stayed within the same grade range.
However, all scores dropped in May, 2020, with losers recording the biggest decline from December, 2019, with 55 points. They are followed by gainers, down 34 points; and the unchanged, down 27 points.
The SWS attributed the nationwide net personal optimism score of –18 to the low or very low scores in all areas. The score reached record-lows in the Visayas and Mindanao at –37 and –32, respectively. The scores are –16 in Metro Manila and –5 in Balance Luzon
The net personal optimism score is lower in General Community Quarantine (GCQ) areas at –25 than in Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) areas at –13.
SWS said net personal optimism by job situation is lower among those who have a job but are not receiving pay at –26 and among those who have no job at present but used to have one at –20. This is followed by those who never had a job at –14, and who have a job and are receiving full pay at –13.
The survey showed that only college graduates received a low net optimism score while the rest received very low scores. The score is lowest among non-elementary graduates at –30, followed by elementary graduates at –27, junior high school graduates at –18, and college graduates at –7.
The SWS said the survey was conducted through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing among working-age Filipinos 15 years old and above nationwide randomly selected from a database of mobile phone numbers compiled from SWS national and subnational representative face-to-face surveys since 2017.
SWS noted the sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±2 for Balance Luzon, ±3% for Visayas, and ±3% for Mindanao.