More Filipinos think life worsened under current president

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) – More Filipinos believe their lives have worsened in the past year, according to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), which showed declining ratings in personal and economic optimism.

The survey, conducted from March 4 to 7 and first published in Business World, showed 35 percent of respondents saying their lives would improve in the next 12 months, while 11 percent said they did not see their lives improving. The past year covers mostly the administration of President Aquino.

This translates to a net personal optimism score of plus-24 (optimists minus pessimists), lower than the plus-35 (42 percent optimists, 7 percent pessimists) recorded in November 2010.

Optimism about the economy also declined, with only 27 percent saying they were optimistic about the economy in the coming year, while 24 percent were pessimistic, for a net optimism rating of plus-4 (correctly rounded). This was also down from the plus-30 (39 percent optimists, 8 percent pessimists) posted in November.

Asked to evaluate their lives in the past year, 36 percent said it had worsened (losers) while 23 percent said it had improved (gainers), for a net-gainers-and-losers score of minus-3–again also lower than the minus-5 score (25 percent gainers minus 30 percent losers) in November.

Net personal optimism dropped in all areas except in the Visayas, where it increased by three percentage points to plus-33, while it fell in Luzon outside Metro Manila (by 21 points, from plus-38 to plus-17), in Metro Manila (by 11 points, from plus 41 to plus 30), and in Mindanao (by 7 points, from plus-32 to plus-25).

It also dropped across socioeconomic classes–by 31 points in class ABC (from plus-52 to plus-21), by 15 points in class E (from plus-32 to plus-17) and by 8 points in class D (from plus-35 to plus-27).

Net economic optimism also declined across all areas and classes. Double-digit drops were posted across all areas: 34 points in Luzon outside Metro Manila (from plus-31 to minus-3); 27 points in Metro Manila (from plus-41 to plus-14); 21 points in Mindanao (from plus-30 to plus-9); and 18 points in the Visayas (from plus-23 to plus-5).

Double-digit declines were posted in all socioeconomic classes. Optimism about the economy in class ABC declined by 44 points (from plus-47 to plus-3), while it dropped by 27 points in class D (from plus-28 to plus-1). It likewise decreased in class E, by 21 points, from plus-32 to plus-11.

The net-gainers’ score in the Visayas became less negative, from minus-14 in November to minus-8 in March. It remained at minus-7 in Metro Manila and worsened in Luzon outside Metro Manila (from minus-5 to minus-19) and in Mindanao (from plus-4 to minus-10).

Across classes, the net-gainers’ score was at minus-16 in class ABC (down 26 points from plus-10 in November); minus-17 in class E (down 14 points from minus-3); and minus-11 in class D (down 4 points from minus-7).

The survey asked 1,200 respondents the question, “In your opinion, what will be the quality of your life in the coming 12 months?” They were asked to rate it better, the same or worse.

For net personal optimism, the SWS considers scores of plus-30 and above as “very high.” Scores ranging from plus 20 to plus 29 are considered “high,” while scores ranging from plus-10 to plus-19 are considered “fair.”

For net economic optimism and net gainers-losers, the SWS places the most common answers, the median and the modal, in the “low” and “very low” categories.

SWS assigns a “fair” rating to the negative category (minus 9 to zero) and “mediocre” to the set between “fair” and “low” (minus 19 to minus 10). Scores of plus 1 to plus 9 are “high,” while plus 10 and above are considered “very high.”

The nationwide survey was conducted from March 4 to March 7 using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adult respondents. It had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.