Majority of Filipinos are optimistic that the Philippine economy will improve in the second quarter of 2022, even as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to grapple the country, according to the latest survey by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc.

PUBLiCUS, in its PAHAYAG 2022 First Quarter Survey conducted from March 30 to April 6, found that 70 percent of 1,500 respondents expect the country’s economic prospects to improve from April to June 2022 period.

Of the 70 percent, around 32.6 percent expressed optimism about “a lot” of economic improvement in the second quarter of 2022, while the remaining 37.3 said they are only expecting a “little” improvement.

PUBLiCUS also found that Filipinos are “generally optimistic” about the current direction of the country.

While only 57.2 percent of respondents said the current state of the country was either “strong or very strong”, 72.1 percent were convinced that the country was “maybe or definitely” headed in the right direction, according to poll results.

The same survey revealed that 72.9 percent of respondents expressed hope that their household financial prospects would improve either a little or a lot in the second quarter of 2022.

With regard to the national concerns, PUBLiCUS noted that the “most contentious” issues among respondents were the possible shift to “Alert Level 0” in Metro Manila, the signing of the law allowing foreign ownership of telecommunications companies, and the lifting of face mask requirements in public places.

Results of the survey bared that around 47.7 percent approved the potential downgrading of Covid-19 Alert Level in Metro Manila, and only 29.1 percent expressed support for the possible lifting of the current policy mandating the use of face mask in public spaces.

The poll also found that only 44.2 percent approved the signing of the law allowing foreign ownership of telecommunications companies.

“Significantly, the lifting of face mask requirements was the only issue tested on the March 30 to April 6 survey that generated higher Total Disapproval (49.2 percent) than Total Approval (29.1 percent) among respondents,” PUBLiCUS said.

Respondents also backed the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers from Ukraine (76.2 percent), provision of fuel subsidy to jeepney drivers (70.2 percent), temporary suspension of fuel excise tax (67.9 percent), and monthly distribution of cash aid worth P500 to poor Filipinos for three months (67 percent).

They also gave their support to the Philippines’ vote in favor of the United Nations’ resolution demanding Russia’s withdrawal of troops from Ukraine (58 percent), implementation of a hybrid election system for the May 9, 2022 elections (54.7 percent), and the implementation of a four-day workweek (53.6 percent).

Around 1,500 respondents were interviewed using a nationwide sample margin of error of ±3 percent.PNA