By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
MANILA – Data released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) released last March 30 revealed that most Filipinos prefer a simpler, comfortable life instead of a rich and extravagant one.
Based on NEDA’s ‘Ambisyon 2040’ survey (a project aimed at developing a long-term vision for the Philippines by commissioning a nationwide study on the aspirations, values and principles of Filipinos), an overwhelming 79 percent of Filipinos aspire for a simple and comfortable life.
The survey was commissioned by both the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and NEDA in March 2015.
The survey was conducted using face-to-face personal interviews of 10,000 respondents (male/females aged 15-50 years old) from ABCDE income homes.
Aside from the 79 percent who preferred to have a simple and comfortable life, according to NEDA, a smaller segment of the population want an affluent or well-off life is at 16.9 percent followed by a very small portion that aspires for the life of the rich at 3.9 percent.
According to the survey, a Filipino’s definition of a simple and comfortable life is having the following:
• Medium-sized home
• Having enough earnings to support everyday needs
• Owning at least one car/vehicle
• The capacity to provide college education for their children
• Going on local trips for vacation
The survey also noted the Filipinos’ self-vision, “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 futures. Our families live 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.”
What should the country have achieved by 2040?
“The Philippines shall be a country where all citizens are free from hunger and poverty, have equal opportunities, enabled by a fair and just society that is governed with order and unity. A nation where families live together, thriving in vibrant, culturally diverse, and resilient communities,” the survey highlight said as part of the Filipinos vision for the country.
In one of the highlights presented by NEDA through its Ambisyon 2040 survey, three-fourths of Filipinos or 72.1 percent believed that by 2040, Filipinos standard of living for all is having a comfortable and simple life followed by one-fourth or 25 percent of Filipinos hoping for a prosperous and affluent life.
The survey also indicated that “confidence in achieving the desired goal” is lower among the poor with 48.5 percent (also the same people surveyed who want a comfortable life) of them are not fully confident that they can’t reach their goals.
The survey also provided some major goals that the Filipinos would want to be accomplished by 2040.
“By 2040, the Philippines will be a predominantly middle-class society. Poverty and hunger will have been eradicated. There will be sufficient good quality local jobs available. For the Filipinos in general, the most important economic goal is the eradication of poverty (Ranked 1: 28.7 percent; ranked 2 and 3: 21.4 percent), hunger (ranked 1: 25.7 percent; ranked 2 and 3: 38.2 percent), and adequate jobs (ranked 1: 18 percent; ranked 2 and 3: 33 percent).Moreover, identified as second and/or third most important goals are housing (26.4 percent), education (30.8 percent) and health (30.3 percent). The survey results also indicated modern lifestyle and leader in science and technology as among the least important goals,” reported the survey highlight.
In general, the survey said that most Filipinos’ important economic goal is the eradication of poverty at 28.7 percent and 21.4 percent, followed by hunger at 25.7 percent and 38.2 percent and adequate jobs at 18 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
While the second and third most important goals are the following:
• Housing (26.4 percent)
• Education (30.8 percent)
• Health (30.3 percent)
Most Pinoys prefer to work in the Philippines
Referring to the figure above and the data collected by NEDA, a prevailing sentiment in case of jobs among Filipinos is that jobs should be located in the Philippines in the year 2040 at 88 percent. According to the respondents, “it will be good for the country if citizens will stay in the Philippines instead of going abroad to work.”
While 69 percent of Filipinos prefer or would choose a job at home instead of a job abroad if given a choice.
Based on the survey, Filipinos said that a decent job (marangal o maayos na trabaho) should have the following important characteristics:
• A good salary that would support a comfortable life and paid on a regular basis
• Having a business where the revenue is high
• Job stability or job security
• Benefits and incentives and the type of work
According to the survey, most Filipinos expressed that the need to eliminate corruption is the number one tool in order to achieve a better future followed by the ease and efficiency of government transactions and in distant third is the affordability of government services while ranked between number two and three as most important to Filipinos is having polite, helpful and knowledgeable government employees.
As for the 77.7 percent of the respondents, peace and security is considered as imperative or commanding in terms of the development of the country in general followed by the improvement of every Filipino’s own standard of living at 75.2 percent while residents in Regions 1, 6, 9 and 10 feel the most particularly vulnerable in terms of peace and security issues in their areas.
In a post from Rappler, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra shared that over the last 33 years (1981-2014)- the Philippines’ per capita income rose only 1.8 times.
But Esguerra also shared some improvements for this, “with the right policies, improvements in productivity and efficiency can triple our [gross national] per capita income to about $11,000 in 25 years, allowing the majority of our people to enjoy nearly high-income country standards of living.”
Esguerra also warned that if the Philippines wouldn’t take the necessary reforms, its per capita income can only grow around $5,000 in a period of over 25 years, without even doubling the current level at around $3,500.
Esguerra then added that with this, NEDA has put up the Ambisyon Natin 2040 project in order to support medium to long term development plans for the desired vision for Filipinos.
“The important challenge is for an informed citizenry to present this as their own to succeeding governments and be able to lobby for programs that will help achieve this,” Esguerra said.
According to Rappler, NEDA’s Ambisyon Natin 2040 is slated to run for six years, or a length of an administration in order to “serve as a guide to future leaders, and for citizens so they can hold their leaders to it.”