The Pulse Asia survey also showed six in 10 Filipinos or 62 percent against the proposed shift to a federal system of government.
Poll: Filipinos oppose charter change, federalism
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - July 17, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two in three Filipinos are not in favor of amending the Constitution now while a majority reject the proposed shift to a federal system of government, the latest survey by Pulse Asia showed.

Based on the poll taken from June 15 to June 21, 67 percent of Filipinos were against Charter change while only 18 percent were in favor. The remaining 14 percent were undecided on the matter.

The Pulse Asia survey also showed six in 10 Filipinos or 62 percent against the proposed shift to a federal system of government.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said lack of information regarding federalism could explain its unpopularity among Filipinos.

“For this reason, we cannot expect our people to support an initiative, which they know only little about. There is clearly much work to be done in terms of spreading awareness and knowledge on the aforementioned issue,” Roque said in a statement yesterday.

“We will therefore exert even more effort to inform and educate our citizens about federalism since the approval of the proposed changes in our current Charter ultimately lies in the hands of the Filipino people,” he added.  

Of those who opposed Charter change, 30 percent said the Constitution should not be amended now, but could be changed sometime in the future, while 37 percent said it should not be changed “now or any other time.”

The survey was conducted two weeks before the consultative committee formed by President Duterte submitted the draft federal constitution to him.

Pulse Asia said opposition to Charter change now and in the future rose by five percentage points from 32 percent in March to 37 percent in June. Support for charter change, on the other hand, dropped five points from 23 percent to 18 percent.

The survey also showed “big pluralities” in Metro Manila (40 percent), the rest of Luzon (40 percent), the Visayas (43 percent), and Class D (38 percent) are against Charter change now and in the future.

About the same percentages of those in Class E either reject charter change now and in the future (32 percent) or oppose it now but may be supportive of it in the future (30 percent).

In Mindanao and Class ABC, nearly the same percentages oppose Charter change now but may be open to it in the future (34 percent and 30 percent, respectively), support it now (28 percent and 25 percent, respectively), or reject it now and in the future (26 percent and 38 percent, respectively).

Support for Charter change now declined among Metro Manilans (-17 percentage points) while opposition became more pronounced in the Visayas (+15 percentage points) and Class E (+12 percentage points).

Opposition to changing the country’s charter now and in the future increased in the Visayas by 15 points from 28 percent to 43 percent.

The survey also showed 74 percent of Filipinos who claimed to have “little/almost no/no knowledge at all” about the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

It also found 55 percent of adult Filipinos who said they are aware of proposals to change the country’s charter, higher than March 2018’s 49 percent.

Majority awareness figures are recorded in all geographic areas (53 percent to 59 percent) and practically every socio-economic class (58 percent to 78 percent), with Class E being the only exception (38 percent).

Federal government

Meanwhile, only 28 percent of Filipinos are supportive of a shift to a federal form of government now, while 10 percent are ambivalent on the matter.

Of those not in favor of shifting to a federal system, 34 percent said they don’t want it now and in the future and 28 percent against it at the moment but may be open to it in the future.

With the exception of Mindanao (45 percent), majority levels of opposition to federalism now are recorded across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (56 percent to 72 percent and 54 percent to 68 percent, respectively).

Fifty-one percent of respondents from Mindanao, Duterte’s home region, backed moves to shift to a federal government now. With Marvin Sy, Alexis Romero, Delon Porcalla

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