DAYS BEFORE President Rodrigo Duterte took office, the number of Filipinos who expected their lives to get better within the first 12 months of his administration hit a record high, according to a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The nationwide poll, conducted from June 22 to 24, found that 49 percent of respondents expected positive change in their quality of life in the next 12 months, while only 3 percent were pessimistic, resulting in a record-high net optimism of +46.
Based on SWS definitions, at least +30 net optimism is considered “very high.”
The latest figure surpassed the “very high” +40 percent recorded in December 2015 and April 2016 under former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
The SWS has been conducting the survey since 1984.
The survey polled 1,200 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of ±3 percent.
The SWS poll, first published in the newspaper BusinessWorld, said net personal optimism improved across all areas and socioeconomic classes.
Optimism was “very high” across the country: +56 in Metro Manila, +54 in Mindanao, +42 in the Visayas and +41 in Luzon.
Net optimism was also “very high” for Filipinos in income class D, or the masa, at +49 and the poorest class E at +39.
Although optimism in class ABC remained “very high” as well, it fell 10 points from April’s +47 to the latest +37.
Meanwhile, net optimism about the economy was also at a record high +56, with 60 percent saying that they expect the economy to be better in the next 12 months, and another 4 percent saying it will be worse, for a net optimism score of +56.
It surpassed the +39 score recorded last December.
For the economy, the SWS classifies a net optimism score of at least +10 as “very high.”
Since the survey started in 1983, there were usually more “losers” than “gainers,” but a positive trend was seen starting March 2015.
The SWS said there were more “gainers” from Class ABC, with the survey showing “net gainers” at +18. This was twice as much as the net gainers from Class D (+9) and thrice as much from Class E (+6).
Filipinos’ trust and optimism in the government were evidently high at the start of Duterte’s term.
The SWS earlier reported that 63 percent of Filipinos thought Duterte could make good on “most, if not all” of his promises, and 84 percent, or 8 in 10 Filipinos, said they had “much trust” in the country’s 16th President.