Philippines: Palace blames inflation for decline in Filipino optimism – 17 May 2017

  • The decline in Filipinos’ optimism over their quality of life and the Philippine economy may be attributed to inflation, Malacañang said 17 May 17.
  • In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said survey results showing a drop in net personal optimism among Filipinos may be because they were “feeling the pinch” of inflation in Mar 17.
  • The price of electricity had risen that month as the Malampaya maintenance shutdown affected power supply. Prices of gasoline, diesel, kerosene and LPG also increased.
  • The Mar 17 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed that 43% of respondents expected their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months, while 6% expected it to get worse, resulting in a net optimism score of a “very high” +36.
  • The SWS said the Mar 17 net optimism score was 9 points lower than 4Q16’s “very high” +45, and was the lowest net optimism score since Sep 15’s +33.
  • The SWS survey also revealed almost no change in the number of people who felt either better or worse off.
  • Results showed that 35% of the respondents said their lives had improved compared to 12 months ago (gainers), while 19% said they were worse off (losers), resulting in a net gainers score of “very high” +16, unchanged from the previous survey.
  • The survey also found that 47% of the respondents were optimistic that the general Philippine economy in 2018 would get better. 9% meanwhile said it would deteriorate, resulting in a net optimism score of a “very high” +38, five points lower than the “very high” +43 in the Dec 16 survey.
  • Even as the outlook of Filipinos about their personality quality of life and the Philippine economy declined, Abella said the government would remain focused on “bringing prosperity to all, especially to the disadvantaged and marginalized sectors.”
  • He cited government programs such as the distribution of free medicine to indigents, higher pension for seniors, increased combat duty pay and combat incentive pay for soldiers and policemen, additional rice subsidy to conditional cash transfer recipients, and the microfinancing system, which have already been piloted in some areas.

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