By: Ben O. de Vera
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:14 AM March 31st, 2016
Almost four out of every five Filipinos want a “simple and comfortable life” by 2040, a survey conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) for its long-term vision exercise dubbed “AmBisyon 2040” showed.
During the launch of AmBisyon 2040—a word play combining “ambition” and “vision”—yesterday, Neda officials said studies showed that “with the right policies, improvements in productivity and efficiency can triple our per capita income to about $11,000 in 25 years, allowing majority of our people to enjoy nearly high-income country standards of living.”
The results of the poll conducted early this year showed that majority of Filipinos aspire for a simple and comfortable life, with 79.2 percent of respondents saying so. Only 16.9 percent and 3.9 percent said they wanted an affluent life or a life of the rich, respectively.
Neda deputy director general Rosemarie G. Edillon told a press conference that this “simple and comfortable” living that most Filipinos wanted 24 years from now reflected middle-class lifestyle— earning enough, educating all children until college, owning a car, owning a medium-sized house, finding time to relax with family and friends, owning a business as well as being able to travel around the country.
Asked if this “simple” aspiration of Filipinos reflected how hard life could be for most Filipinos at present, Economic Planning Secretary Emmanuel F. Esguerra admitted that such was partly manifested by the fact that while progress has been made in reducing poverty and improving livelihood, “there is still a lot of catching up to do.”
“It’s also in a way influenced by what they experience on a daily basis. The aspiration naturally is the opposite of that, to be able to free oneself from those constraints that make living a struggle,” said Esguerra, who is also Neda director general.
For instance, the survey result showing that 77 percent of Filipinos preferred their own car as their mode of transportation by 2040 reflected how many in the country find public transportation difficult to use, the Neda chief noted.
In summary, the vision of Filipinos for self by 2040 is the following: “In 2040, we will all enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses, that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children’s future. Our family lives together in a place of our own, yet we have the freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient and fair government.”
According to Neda, this vision “can be realized with the right policies and programs.”
Future administrations would have the flexibility to adopt this vision into their medium-term programs, Esguerra said.