March 30, 2016 10:31 pm
by MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO, REPORTER
MAJORITY of Filipinos are aspiring for a simple and comfortable life, according to a survey conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
The survey held from January to February this year among 10,000 respondents in urban and rural areas showed that 70 percent of those polled want “a medium-sized home, enough earnings to support everyday needs, at least one car/vehicle, the capacity to provide their children college education; and going on local trips for vacation.”
A small segment or 16.9 percent of the respondents aspire for an affluent life, while 3.9 percent said they want to be rich.
Meanwhile, three-fourths or 72.1 percent of the respondents believe that by 2040, a simple and comfortable life will be the standard of living for all Filipinos.
For most Filipinos, the most important economic goal is the eradication of poverty, hunger and unemployment, For most Filipinos, the most important economic goal is the eradication of poverty, hunger and unemployment, the survey said.
The next most important goals are housing, education and health.
A prevailing sentiment among those polled is that jobs should be found in the Philippines and that Filipinos should have options for good quality employment that supports a comfortable life.
Eighty-eight percent agree that in 2040, it will be good for the country if citizens will stay in the Philippines instead of leaving to work abroad.
The survey showed that more than 69 percent of the respondents said that if given a choice, they will choose to work here instead of working in a different country.
The NEDA said Filipinos’ aspiration for a comfortable life is attainable.
“I guess at this point, the question that many of you may have in mind is whether this vision is realistic. For us in NEDA, the answer is a resounding yes, it is possible with the right policies,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said during the launch of the agency’s long-term vision dubbed as “Ambisyon Natin 2040” on Wednesday in Quezon City.
Under Ambisyon Natin 2040, in the next 24 years, Filipinos will enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle and will have equal opportunities; citizens will not be burdened by poverty or hunger and have equal opportunities; and the Philippines will be a predominantly middle-class society.
“We recognize, however, that government has a critical role to play in supporting the realization of these aspirations,” Esguera said.
He added that the government needs to provide enabling conditions to help Filipinos build up their resources by fostering sustained economic growth, investing in people, and protecting them against shocks that destabilize them.
The government also needs to provide the appropriate “rules of the game” and
ensure that these are enforced fairly and equally, Esguerra, also the NEDA director general, said.
He noted that sustained public investments to close the country’s infrastructure gap will be important in removing bottlenecks that have limited the potential of various sectors.
“We also need to provide an environment that fosters competition and rewards innovation, as they are critical for long-term growth,” the NEDA chief said.
Investments in health and education, will ensure the availability of a healthy, highly trainable and skilled labor force, allow the poor to benefit more from growth and foster the development of a more entrepreneurial society, he added.
The state, Esguerra said, also needs to adequately protect its citizens against social, environmental and economic instability.
“This includes the provision of protection against peace and security threats, as well as health and environmental risks,” he added.