But surveys are not an exact science and could be easily manipulated to suit the need of the one who commissioned the polls or twist the public perception.
Here in the Philippines, the season is again ripe for surveys.
With our government rocked by yet another scandal courtesy of one Janet Lim-Napoles, polls could serve as a fresh coat of paint over the ugly picture painted by the present scenario.
Two weeks ago, a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce of US firms operating in the region painted a rosy picture of the business climate here in the Philippines. Then on Friday, the country scored “pogi points” anew in the latest Global Competitiveness Report filed by the World Economic Forum (WEF). #OpinYon#Editorial
With the government preparing a national budget of PhP2.268 trillion for 2014, every single Filipino (given a total population of 95.8 million) should expect to get PhP226,680 in services.
With the government awash in cash, no Filipino should go hungry or suffer the indignity of being unemployed, uneducated and homeless. But to the common Juan living in the cardboard cities of Manila, nothing could be farther from the truth.
This two trillion budget, raised mostly from taxes, may be the reason foreign rating groups rate the country positively—as being attractive to foreign investments.
Just last week, a report by the World Economic Forum showed the country jumping six spots up the global competitive rankings, placing 59th among 148th countries this year.
The Philippines jumped six spots in the global competitiveness ranking, placing 59th among 148 countries this year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said Wednesday.
The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 said the country’s ranking improved from 65th place among 144 economies last year and according to the Makati Business Club, the Philippines has actually climbed 28 places since 2010.
The WEF report showed the Philippines coming sixth out of 10 nations in the Asean following the addition of Laos (89th place) and Myanmar (139th). Surprisingly, the country also outranked India which slid to the 60th spot this year. (Singapore, ranked second in the world, is tops in the region while Indonesia became the biggest gainer, rising 12 notches to 38th).
Two weeks ago, the results of a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (AmCham Philippines) and the US Chamber of Commerce also showed the Philippines in a positive light.
In a poll of 475 senior executives from US companies operating across the region, satisfaction in the Philippines increased in 14 of 16 business factors, led by a 50 percent increase in satisfaction with the stability of government and political system. A majority of US firms also showed satisfaction with the availability of trained personnel—the highest in the Asean region.
As with the WEF report, the AmCham Philippines survey also showed Singapore as the best country in the region to do business with given the its low levels of corruption, sufficient infrastructure and predictable laws and regulations.
Singapore’s strengths are the Philippines weaknesses, though.
Despite loud claims by Philippine officials of containing corruption, US business leaders still see widespread corruption, lack of infrastructure and the tax system as the main deterrents to foreign investment.
Even as surveys showed robust economic growth on the one hand, this failed to offset unemployment figures as joblessness rose to 7.5% in April from last year’s 6.9 percent, this according to a Labor Force survey by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
While the economy grew by 6.8 percent in 2012, this was offset by the huge dip in Philippine employment. Offering an explanation, the National Economic and Development Authority said the unemployment rate increased due to a lower level of employment amid a slightly higher labor force level. Majority of the unemployed were high school graduates (31.7 percent), college graduates (21.3 percent) and college undergraduates (14.6 percent).