Filipino millennials among most optimistic globally – survey

MANILA, Philippines – Results of a recent survey conducted by a private firm showed that Filipino millennials are among the world's most optimistic despite the political and economic conditions in the Philippines.

In the survey released by financial advisory firm Deloitte on Sunday, April 16, 84% of Filipino millennials said they expect the social and political situation in the country to be better in the next 12 months. This is significantly higher compared to their counterparts in other countries with only 36% sharing their optimism.

Filipino millennials' optimism, however, is also tempered by the current issues.

"While [Filipino millennials] feel good about the country and their own prospects for success, this sentiment is tempered by the reality surrounding them," said Deloitte Philippines chief executive officer Greg Navarro. (READ: What you need to know about Filipino millennials

"But if you look at how millennials are getting involved – on social media, in the streets – you can say that they aren't simply sitting back and letting these issues overwhelm them. They are making their voices heard and participating in the national dialogue," he added.

Millennials also have strong trust in government with 90% of them believing that the government can resolve the issues and that it has taken steps to address those problems.

Economic outlook

Based on the survey results, terrorism (40%) as well as crime and personal safety (35%) are the top concerns of Filipino millennials.

Other points of concern for them include healthcare or disease prevention (29%), climate change and natural disasters (27%), and unemployment (24%).

While unemployment is a key concern, 89% of Filipino millennials believe the country's economic situation will improve this year. This is almost double the global average of 45% and even higher than the Southeast Asia average, which is at 53%.

In terms of personal finances, 84% expect themselves to be financially better than their parents while 76% think they'll be happier than the previous generations. These figures are still significantly better than the global averages, which stand at 26% and 23%, respectively.

"Notably, lack of optimism regarding 'social progress' is most evident in Belgium, France, Germany, and the UK – nations that are now dealing with the reality of Brexit and the rise of far-right populism. Meanwhile, greater optimism is seen in the Philippines, Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey," Deloitte said.

Attitude of leaders

The survey also gauged how the youth perceive their business and political leaders. This item was included as the world saw a rise in unconventional leaders such as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump, both known for their off-the-cuff remarks.

Results in this aspect are contradicting. Only 55% of millennials think it is acceptable for political leaders to take "controversial or divisive positions" and only 48% think business leaders should behave this way. But 78% think businessmen and politicians should be able to express their opinions passionately.

Meanwhile, millennials are expecting leaders in both sectors (63% for business leaders; 64% for political leaders) to bring radical, rather than gradual, change.

"This could be the result of media being saturated with coverage of these shoot-from-the-hip leaders, or it could be that millennials have always just preferred passionate, straightforward leaders. Whatever the case may be, there's no denying that the management style that works best for this generational cohort is very different from what Baby Boomers and even Gen-Xers grew up with," explained Navarro. – Patty Pasion / Rappler.com