MANILA, Philippines – Nine out of 10 Filipinos welcome the New Year with hope rather than fear, according to a recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The SWS survey, conducted from Dec. 5 to 10, found that 89 percent of adult Filipinos will face the New Year with optimism. A small percentage however, comprising the poor, are less optimistic, being the most affected by recent calamities.
The number of hopeful Filipinos, however, was slightly lower than those who were optimistic for the New Year in the previous three years, the SWS said.
“From 2006 to 2008, hopefulness about the coming year was flat – 91 percent in both 2006 and 2007, and 92 percent in 2008,” it said.
SWS said that hope in the coming year has customarily been at high levels, starting at 87 percent when it was first polled in December 2000 and 88 percent in December 2001.
In December 2002, New Year hope reached a record high of 95 percent before declining to 90 percent in December 2003 and slumped to 81 percent at the end of 2004. It rebounded to 85 percent in 2005 and to 91 percent in 2006.
SWS said that in Germany, where the survey question originated, those expressing hope ranged from 31 percent to 58 percent from 1991 to 2002. German hope in the coming year has not exceeded 58 percent since 1991.
The non-commissioned survey showed that hope for the New Year is high in all areas – 90 percent in Luzon, 88 percent in the Visayas, and 87 percent in both Metro Manila and Mindanao.
Compared to last year, New Year hope hardly changed in Metro Manila (from 89 to 87 percent) and Luzon (from 92 to 90 percent).
In Visayas and Mindanao, New Year hope is slightly down from last year as fear for the coming New Year increased, the pollster said.
In the Visayas, hopefulness about the coming New Year was six points down from 94 percent in the previous year, to 88 percent in 2009.
One out of 10 of respondents (11 percent) in the Visayas say they are fearful of the coming New Year, about twice the six percent posted from 2006 to 2008.
In Mindanao, New Year hope declined by five points from 92 percent in 2008 to 87 percent in 2009.
By the same margin, SWS said those in Mindanao who will enter 2010 with fear increased from eight percent in 2008 to 13 percent this year.
More Muslims apprehensive about the New Year
The new survey found that fear for the New Year was higher among Muslims.
Thirty-one percent of the Muslims surveyed say they will enter 2010 with fear rather than with hope, much higher than the 10 percent among both Roman Catholics and other Christians who are also entering the New Year with fear.
SWS said New Year hope was slightly higher among the middle to upper classes or ABCs.
“Hope for the New Year is slightly higher among middle-to-upper classes ABC (91 percent) than among masa class D (89 percent) and very poor class E (87 percent),” the SWS said.
SWS said the 91 percent among classes ABC who are hopeful for the New Year is similar to the 92 percent recorded in 2008.
Among class D, New Year hope dropped by three points from 92 percent in the previous year to 89 percent in 2009.
Those who expressed fear in entering the New Year slightly increased in 2009, up by four points to 11 percent from seven to eight percent from 2006 to 2008.
The Fourth Quarter 2009 Social Weather Survey used face-to-face interviews of 2,100 adults divided into random samples of 300 in Metro Manila and 600 each in balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The survey has sampling error margins of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points for national percentages, plus or minus six percentage points for Metro Manila and plus or minus four percentage points for balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
SWS said the survey question on hope versus fear in the New Year was patterned after the polls conducted annually by the Allensbach Institute of Demoskopy (http://www.ifd-allensbach.de), a pioneering opinion research center in Germany. –Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)