Optimism Among PWDs Dropping – Survey

MANILA, Philippines --- Only three in 10 Filipinos with disability are optimistic that their quality of lives will improve in the coming months, based on the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.

The nationwide survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 persons with disability (PWDs) last December 3-7, 2011.

It found that 29 percent of PWDs expect their personal quality of life to improve in the next 12 months (optimists), while 18 percent said they don't expect it to improve (pessimists).

This brings the net personal optimism (number of optimists minus the number of pessimists) to "fair" +11.

For net personal optimism, SWS categorized scores ranging from +30 and above as "very high" and +20 to +29 as "high."

The +10 to +19 range is considered "fair," +1 to +9 is "mediocre," zero to -9 is "low" and -10 and below is "very low."

The survey respondents were asked, "In your opinion, what will be the quality of your life in the coming 12 months? Would you say that it...will be better, same, will be worse?"

SWS said this is lower compared to the high net personal optimism of +29 in December 2011 and +28 in March 2012 among Filipino adults in general.

The PWDs included in the survey are those orthopedically-, hearing/speech-, and visually-impaired.

The survey results showed that net personal optimism is a fair +12 (31percent optimists, 19 percent pessimists) among the orthopedically impaired.

It is also fair among the hearing/speech impaired, at +10 (28 percent optimists, 18 percent pessimists).

However, it is a mere mediocre +8 (25 percent optimists, 16 percent pessimists), among the visually impaired.

The survey also found that 18 percent of PWDs said their personal lives improved compared to the last 12 months (gainers), and 46 percent said it worsened (losers), for a net gainers (or the percent of gainers over losers) score of -28, which SWS considers low.

This is worse off compared to the general public where net gainers among adult Filipinos was a mediocre -10 in December, and a fair -7 in March 2012.

Meanwhile, on the change in personal quality of life compared to 12 months ago, net gainers ranged from mediocre to very low across all types of disability.

It is a mediocre -17 (21 percent gainers, 39 percent losers) among the hearing/speech impaired, while It is a low -29 (16 percent gainers, 45 percent losers) among the visually impaired.

It is a very low -34 (16 percent gainers, 50 percent losers) among the orthopedically impaired.

With regard to net personal optimism among PWDs in the geographic areas, it ranged from high to fair in all areas except in the Visayas.

It is a high +25 (36 percent optimists, 11 percent pessimists) in Metro Manila, while it is moderate in the rest of Luzon at +18 (33 percent optimists, 15 percent pessimists), and in Mindanao at +13 (28 percent optimists, 16 percent pessimists.

However, it is low in the Visayas, at net -10 (20 percent optimists, 30 percent pessimists).

By economic class, net personal optimism is a high +25 (35 percent optimists, 11 percent pessimists) among PWDs belonging to upper-to-middle class ABC.

It is a fair +16 (33 percent optimists, 17 percent pessimists) among class D or masa, and a low net zero (22 percent optimists, 21 percent pessimists among the poorest class E.

SWS noted that PWDs who are in their youth (aged 17-24) are more optimistic about their quality of life in the next 12 months, with a high net optimism of +26 (39 percent optimists, 12 percent pessimists).

It is fair among those aged 25-34 at +19 (32 percent optimists, 12 percent pessimists), 35-44 at +19 (31 percent optimists, 12 percent pessimists), and 45-54 at +14 (33 percent optimists, 19 percent pessimists).

PWDs who are 55 years old and above have a net optimism score of net zero (23 percent optimists, 23 percent pessimists).

For PWDs with more formal schooling, personal optimism is higher.

It is a very high +31 (41 percent optimists, 10 percent pessimists) among those who are at least college graduates, and a fair +18 (33 percent optimists, 15 percent pessimists) among those who have at most some college education.

It is mediocre among those who at least reached high school at +8 (28 percent optimists, 20 percent pessimists), and those with at most some elementary education at +7 (26 percent optimists, 19 percent pessimists).

The December 2011 survey found low net gainers score in the rest of Luzon at -21 (20 percent gainers, 41 percent losers), in Mindanao at -22 (19 percent gainers, 41 percent losers), and in Metro Manila at -26 (19 percent gainers, 45 percent losers).

Meanwhile, it is at very low -43 (13 percent gainers, 56 percent losers) in the Visayas. (Ellalyn B. De Vera)