Optimism at record high under Aquino: Pulse Asia

By David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Aug 03 2010 08:11 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2010 04:24 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Optimism among Filipinos is now at its highest level since the 1997 Asian financial crisis due to the ascendancy of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, a new survey by private pollster Pulse Asia revealed Tuesday.

The survey, which was conducted last July 1 to 11 or during the first few days of the Aquino administration, showed that 53% of Filipinos believe that their personal quality of life will change for the better by next year, compared to 32% optimism last March. On the other hand, pessimism dropped from 26% in March to 11% in July. Only 35% of Filipinos feel that there will be no change in their lives by next year.

"The highest optimism rate ever recorded was the month before the Asian financial crisis. Optimism now is actually higher than before the financial crisis," Pulse Asia chief research fellow Dr. Maria Ana Tabunda told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

On the other hand, she said net pessimism hit its peak in July 2008 at the height of the rice and oil price crises.

Tabunda said the high optimism rate is directly related to the new administration, which has a record of honesty. "I think more people believe that there will be positive change in their lives because of the new president," she said.

The survey showed that optimism increased across all geographic areas and socioeconomic classes in July. The highest optimism rate was recorded among respondents from National Capital Region (66%) and among Class ABC respondents.

It showed that 56% of Filipinos believe that the country will be better off by next year, compared to 31% who said it will remain the same and 13% who said it will be worse.

Tabunda said another significant finding in the new survey is that Filipinos are becoming more hopeful for the country. She said 88% of Filipinos disagree with the statement that "this country (the Philippines) is hopeless" compared to 4% who agree.

In past Pulse Asia surveys, agreement that the Philippines is hopeless was as high as 18% in 2006 and 2007. "It just shows that Filipinos are becoming more hopeful because they have more reason to believe that the situation will get better instead of worsen," he said.

A total of 1,200 respondents participated in the survey.