In a report released on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines, SWS found that 84 percent of 1,200 adult respondents said it is “not right” for the government to leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the disputed territories.
The STAR/KJ Rosales
SWS: 4 in 5 Filipinos oppose government inaction on West Philippine Sea
Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) - November 20, 2018 - 9:48am

MANILA, Philippines — An overwhelming majority of Filipinos reject the current administration’s supposed inaction about China’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea, the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed.

In a report released on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines, SWS found that 84 percent of 1,200 adult respondents said it is “not right” for the government to leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the disputed territories.

This is three points higher than the figure recorded in June at 81 percent.

The Philippine claims parts of the South China Sea within its exclusive economic zone and calls it West Philippine Sea.

Eighty-six percent said it is necessary for the government to strengthen its military capability, especially the Navy—up by six points from 80 percent in June.

The report also revealed that 71 percent of respondents believe the Philippine government must bring the issue to international organizations such as the United Nations or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Ties between the Philippines and China soured when the previous administration took the dispute to an international tribunal in The Hague, which ruled in favor of Manila.

But President Rodrigo Duterte has since attempted to mend ties in exchange of Chinese funding for his administration’s ambition infrastructure program.

Important to regain control of West Philippine Sea

The same survey showed that 87 percent of Filipinos said it is crucial for the Philippines to regain control of islands and shoals it claims in the disputed waters.

Of this, 72 percent answered “very important,” while 15 percent said “somewhat important.”  

According to the SWS poll, 65 percent said they are aware of the reported confiscations of Filipino fishermen’s catch by the Chinese coast guard. Sixty-two percent also knew that the Philippines is unable to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the West Philippine Sea and 50 percent said that China created artificial islands for military purpose.

The pollster also found that 89 percent of the respondents are aware of the West Philippine Sea conflict. This is eight points higher than the figure recorded in June at 81 percent.

The survey was conducted from September 15 to 23. It has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.

SOCIAL WEATHER STATIONS WEST PHILIPPINE SEA XI JINPING PHILIPPINE VISIT
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