MANILA, Philippines — The lowest number of Filipinos are entering the New Year with joy since 2009, while significantly more households will be entering it with fear, new survey results suggest.
In its latest survey results, a report of which was published Tuesday afternoon, the Social Weather Stations found that 91% of adult Filipinos who participated in the survey felt they would be entering the New Year with hope rather than with fear.
SWS also found that more Filipinos, or about 7%, felt they would be entering the New Year with fear—three full percentage points up from the 4% of "fearful" Filipinos previously recorded in late 2019.
"The November 2020 survey found that 50% of adult Filipinos expected this Christmas to be happy (masaya), 15% expected it to be sad (malungkot), and 33% expected it to be neither happy nor sad," the SWS report reads. "Among those who expected a happy Christmas, more have hope for the New Year than among those who expected a sad Christmas."
On more than one occasion, the Palace has responded to unflattering survey results by the polling institution by saying that negative sentiment is to be expected amid the coronavirus pandemic, where the Philippines is not the only country struggling.
This is hardly a comfort to Filipinos who found themselves struggling with hunger or with joblessness amid the pandemic, whose spread the national government has still struggled to arrest even after 287 days of community quarantine.
"New Year hope among those from [self-rated] 'Not Poor' and 'Borderline Poor' families was 94% and 93%, respectively, compared to 89% among those from 'Poor families,'" SWS also said.
Interestingly, New Year hope rose by 3 points in Mindanao, from 90% a year ago to 93%. It fell from 99% to 92% in Balance Luzon, in the pathogen's epicenter in Metro Manila (from 96% to 90%), and in the Visayas (from 97% to 88%).
Earlier SWS surveys painted a picture of how the pandemic and government response affected the Philippines, with hunger and unemployment reaching record-highs, leading to what the polling nonprofit institution said was the "worst trend in survey history" in terms of quality of life.
A total of 1,500 working-age Filipinos participated nationwide in the institution’s research through face-to-face interviewing, which yielded sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% for Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
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