43% of Filipinos see life worsening in 12 months

43% of Filipinos see life worsening in 12 months

MANILA, Philippines — Four in 10 Filipinos expect their quality of life to worsen in the next 12 months amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The poll, taken from May 4 to 10, found 43 percent of the respondents expecting their quality of life to worsen, termed by SWS as “pessimists,” versus 24 percent expecting it to improve or the “optimists,” for a net optimist score of -18, down from +44 in December last year.

The remaining 24 percent think that their quality of life will “stay the same,” the SWS said.

The COVID-19 survey was conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing of 4,010 working-age Filipinos, 15 years old and above, nationwide.

“The 43 percent proportion of pessimists in May is the new peak in the 37-year history of 135 SWS surveys, breaking the previous record 34 percent in March 2005,” the pollster noted.

“The May 2020 net optimism score of -18 (optimists minus pessimists) is the worst in survey history, breaking the previous record –13 in October 2000 and March 2005,” the SWS added.

The SWS said net personal optimism dropped in all areas, with the Visayas and Mindanao registering the highest number of pessimists due to the pandemic.

In the Visayas, net personal optimism dipped to record-low -37 in May from +34 in December last year. The previous record was -35 in October 2000.

It also plunged to record-low -32 in Mindanao in May from +45 in December. Its previous record was -30 in December 2004.

Net personal optimism likewise declined in Metro Manila from +44 in December last year to -16 in May. The all-time low was -29 in March 2005.

In balance Luzon, it fell from +47 in December to -5 in May. The all-time low was -9 in May 2005.

The SWS said net optimism was lowest among those with less education.

It was -30 among non-elementary graduates followed by elementary graduates at -27, junior high school graduates at -18 and college graduates at -7.

“In the four surveys of 2019, the scores were very high or excellent in all education groups before dropping to low last May,” the SWS said.

Net personal optimism was -13 among those who have jobs and are receiving full pay and -14 among those who never had a job.

It was lower among those who have no jobs at present but used to have one and those who have a job but are not receiving pay at -20 and -26, respectively.

Malacañang attributed the poll results to the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the survey was conducted while the country is under community quarantine.

“We all know that there was an economic shutdown and the entire country suffered, in fact the world, not just the Philippines,” Roque said at a press briefing. “We all need to recover from this. The process of recovery is not easy. We understand the people’s sentiments.” Alexis Romero