• More Filipinos optimistic about 2015, survey says

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    Most Filipinos are facing 2015 with hope rather than fear, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said.

    Ninety-three percent of Filipinos surveyed were optimistic about 2015, slightly below the 94 percent registered last year.

    SWS conducted the survey from November 27 to December 1.

    The pollster noted that “hope for the New Year has always been high, starting with 87 percent when questions was first asked in 2000, and with 88 percent on 2001.”

    Only 6 percent are facing 2015 with fear, SWS said.

    The optimism reached an all-time high of 95 percent in 2002, slipping to 90 percent in 2003, and 81 percent in 2004.

    It picked up again, to 85 percent in 2005 and 91 to 92 percent from 2006 to 2008, dropped to 89 percent in 2009 before bouncing back to 93 percent in 2010.

    Hope reached 95 percent in 2011, 92 percent in 2012, 94 percent in 2013 and 93 percent in 2014.

    The survey found that as in previous years, optimism for the New Year spread across all areas. It was 91 percent in Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao; and 96 percent in Balance Luzon.

    “Compared to 2013, the percentages of those who are hopeful of the 2015 New Year hardly changed in all areas,” SWS said.

    It noted New Year hope had been flat for three years in Metro Manila, at 91 percent in 2013 and 2014, and 93 percent in 2012. This was 96 percent in 2010 and 2011.

    In the Visayas, the 91 percent is similar to the 93 percent in 2012 and 2013, but slightly lower than the record 97 percent in 2010 and 96 percent in 2011.

    Mindanao’s 91 percent in 2014 is similar to the 92 percent in 2013. It was a low 85 percent in 2012, from 94 percent in 2011.

    SWS said more respondents see a brighter New Year than those who expected a happy Christmas this year.

    Of the 71 percent who expected a happy 2013 Christmas, 95 percent also look forward to 2014 with hope.

    “Even among the 24 percent who say their Christmas would neither be happy nor sad, 91 percent are entering 2015 with hope,” SWS said.

    On the other hand, of the 6 percent who expected a sad Christmas, 76 percent are hopeful and 24 percent are fearful of the coming New Year.

    The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,800 respondents, 300 each in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon and Mindanao, and 900 in Visayas.

    Sampling error margins of ±2.3% for national percentages, ±5.7% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao, and ±3.3% for Visayas applied to the survey.

    Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the optimism is grounded on the Filipinos’ belief that the “foundations for sustainable growth have been laid.”

    “Opportunities for meaningful work have been created. Millions of Filipinos are reaping the fruits of sound economic policies and good governance,” Coloma said.

    Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda gave almost the same assessment.

    “Hope and optimism have always been characteristic of the Filipino people, who, throughout history, have consistently refused to give in to negativity, or to be cowed by challenges. The Aquino administration itself has been witness to this: we are a government borne of our people’s belief that the tide can turn in the Philippines; that good governance can replace an entrenched culture of corruption,” Lacierda said in a statement.

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    1. The Aquino administration amusingly claims that unemployment in the Philippines is down to six percent, a number which is better than Canada’s. But why does half of our population live in abject poverty and despair? The reason is the slave wages in our country. Tens of millions of Filipinos work in low-paying jobs in the service sector that just give them a measly pay of $10 a day, or less. By international standards, the millions of Filipinos who work at this pay rate fall under the category of “working poor”.

      The government boasts that PH is the next economic tiger in Asia, yet what ever economic windfall it brings, will benefit only the rich and does not trickle down to the poor, in the absence of social safety nets in the Philippines. Other countries which care for their citizens provide free health care, free education up to university, old age pensions and food stamps – benefits that we don’t enjoy in our country.

      Despite the rosy findings of SWS about the great optimism expressed by those surveyed, there isn’t much good news in the New Year for our country’s poor. To put it bluntly, they will still remain poor, if not poorer in 2015. Our government will still be corrupt next year and in the near future. When the poor have got nothing, what else can they do except to cling to the hope that their lives will be better in the coming year?