Pinoys rate high in care for environment
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - May 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos score high among other nationalities when it comes to caring for the environment, a 2010 survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) found in a poll it conducted as part of a network of national survey organizations to determine caring for the environment around the globe.

Social scientist and academician Mahar Mangahas, in a presentation on “Attitudes of Filipinos on Care for the Environment: Where do we Stand?” at the Trailblazers in Science public forum of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) at the Hotel Jen in Pasay City last week, said that Filipinos have as much concern for the environment as most other peoples of the world, even scoring higher (48 percent) than average (40 percent).

However, he said that Filipinos prioritize their country’s environmental problems in a “somewhat different order than other peoples of the world.”

Mangahas, a member of the NAST Social Sciences Division, identified the priority areas as air pollution, climate change, using up national resources, domestic waste disposal, water shortage, water pollution, nuclear waste, chemicals and pesticides and genetically modified foods.

He said that Filipinos’ top environmental concern was air pollution (24 percent), climate change (17 percent), using up natural resources (16 percent), domestic waste disposal (14 percent) and water shortage (11 percent). 

In the average percentage for the 32 other countries, the top concerns were air pollution (22 percent), climate change (15 percent), water pollution (12 percent), using up natural resources (11 percent), and chemicals and pesticides (10 percent).

Mangahas said Filipinos also showed high confidence in modern science and its ability to solve the world’s environmental problems with little changes in their lifestyles.

While they cared much for the environment, Filipinos however think that environment was getting too much attention compared to economic problems. He said other nationalities believe attention to the environment was only appropriate.

Filipinos strongly feel (+41 percent) that human progress is achievable without harming the environment while other nationalities are divided on this statement (-3 percent).

Also, Filipinos were found to agree more strongly than other nationalities  (+70 percent vs. 34 percent) that economic growth was necessary to allow people to engage in environmental protection activities.

Mangahas said the survey was done by the SWS as a member of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), a consortium of national survey organizations in 42 countries that jointly survey an agreed topic each year.

“This is an activity where we in the SWS have been involved with for 20 years now,” Mangahas said.

Mangahas said that for social scientists, the data gathered by the ISSP surveys were one of the most important sources of primary data for cross-national comparisons.

He said the SWS has conducted 28 ISSP surveys since 1991. The ISSP survey on the environment was last done in 2010, and the next one will be done in 2020.

Before the 2010 ISSP survey on the environment, there was one done 2000.

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