Saturday, December 22, 2012

HAPPY KA | PHL in Top 10 of 'most positive' nations

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s smash hit of a slogan, “Gusto ko happy ka,” may have gotten it right all along. And the bright boys in government who have been wracking their brains on how the Aquino administration can attain higher growth rates for the country would do well to study closely what other factors impact the national psyche or make people happy, if the results of the latest worldwide Gallup poll are any indication.

The poll put Latin America as the region of the world where citizens reported feeling the “most positive” emotions, with eight countries in the region landing in the Top 10, which, incidentally included the Philippines.

The Philippines ranked eighth with a score of 83, meaning 83 percent of those polled reported positive responses to questions asked. It beat several developed countries like the United States (ranked 35th), Canada (11th), Denmark (16th), United Kingdom (30th), Australia (43rd) and Japan (59th). It was also higher than New Zealand (rank 21), United Arab Emirates (29), and the Netherlands (14).

The eight Latin American countries in the Top 10 are: Panama (rank: 1st), Paraguay (2nd), El Salvador (3rd), Venezuela (4th), Guatemala (7th), Ecuador (9th) and Costa Rica (10th).

With the exception of Thailand which was ranked 6th (at 83%), the Philippines bested all its other ASEAN neighbors, including prosperous Malaysia which was at 13th, and Singapore, which came dead last in the list of 148 countries and areas who were surveyed using five questions. People were asked whether they experienced a lot of enjoyment the day before the survey and whether they felt respected, well-rested, laughed and smiled a lot, and did or learned something interesting.

The results as reported by Gallup’s website noted that Singapore is ranked fifth in the world in terms of GDP per capita; but the poll topnotcher Panama just ranks 90th.

According to the summary of the poll outcome as reported in Gallup’s website, “the average percentage of respondents worldwide who said "yes" to these five questions reflects a relatively upbeat world. Gallup found that 85% of adults worldwide felt treated with respect all day, 72% smiled and laughed a lot, 73% felt enjoyment a lot of the day, and 72% felt well-rested.

“The only emotion that less than half of people worldwide reported experiencing was getting to learn or do something interesting the previous day, at 43%. Despite many global challenges, people worldwide are experiencing many positive emotions,” said the report.

Implications: money doesn't automatically mean well-being

“These data may surprise analysts and leaders who solely focus on traditional economic indicators. Residents of Panama, which ranks 90th in the world with respect to GDP per capita, are among the most likely to report positive emotions. Residents of Singapore, which ranks fifth in the world in terms of GDP per capita, are the least likely to report positive emotions,” said the section of the Gallup report on the “Implications” of the poll.

The poll indicates, said the report, that “higher income does not necessarily mean higher wellbeing. Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Angus Deaton found in the United States that income only makes a significant impact on daily positive emotions when earning up to $75,000 annually -- after that, additional income does not make as much of a difference.”

Thus, it added, “leaders who are looking for ways to further improve the human condition in their countries -- especially those societies such as Singapore that are doing well on traditional economic indicators, but not necessarily behavioral metrics -- need to do more to incorporate wellbeing into their leadership strategies.”-Interaksyon (December 21, 2012 5:25PM)

No comments: