Filipinos want next administration to keep Duterte’s drug war, infrastructure approach — survey

Filipinos want next administration to keep Duterte�s drug war, infrastructure approach � survey
“Perhaps his political plans will not be included. What is important is the roadmap for his last year in office,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said at a press briefing.
Simeon Celi Jr. / Presidential Photo, File

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos want the next administration to maintain President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs and its approach in infrastructure development, according to a survey done by public opinion research firm WR Numero Research.

The poll released Sunday also suggests that voters want changes in the way the Philippines approaches the West Philippine Sea issue and ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal. 

WRN arrived at the 2021 survey results after conducting a digital survey with 1,200 unique respondents. The survey had a 95% confidence interval from a panel that consists of respondents across all classes.

The firm said it used data from the Philippine Statistics Authority and the Commission on Elections for its quota sampling and proportional weighting method to “avoid overrepresentation and underrepresentation” of the four demographic profiles — socio-economic, geographic, sex and gender, and age. 

BBB, Duterte’s drug war here to stay?

Majority or 66.06% of its respondents want the next administration to continue the Duterte administration’s Build, build, build infrastructure program. Public spending for the government’s BBB program was estimated to reach up to P9 trillion from 2017 to 2022. 

READ: Was Build, Build, Build successful? Presidential bets weigh in

Meanwhile, 64.60% of the survey respondents are in favor of keeping the country’s 112 state universities tuition-free. 

Some 60.83% of the respondents also wished for the continuation of the administration’s war on drugs, which human rights groups say has claimed the lives of at least 30,000. 

The International Criminal Court has also ordered an investigation in September 2021 on the crimes committed under the guise of the drug war, which families of the victims supported. However, the investigation was halted two months after its launch after the Philippine government requested a deferral, claiming that the country’s own judicial system works.

“Only 16.55% prefer the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) law, while 15.75% and 11.87% want the same approach to China over the WPS issue and the ABS-CBN franchise, respectively,” WRN said.

West Philippine Sea approach tops wish for policy change

Meanwhile, nearly half of the 1,200 respondents said they wanted a change in the country's approach to its West Philippine Sea policy.

“WRN found that 45.13% of Filipino voters want the new administration to deviate from President Duterte’s soft China approach in asserting the country’s claims over WPS,” the public opinion research firm said. 

The Hague Tribunal rejected China’s claims over the disputed waters in 2016, ruling in favor of the Philippines. However, the Duterte administration has dismissed it in exchange for Chinese loans.

Other policy changes respondents wished for are the government’s denial of media giant ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise renewal (44.27%) and changes in the implementation of the TRAIN law (24.77%).

“In 2020, President Duterte’s government denied ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise renewal, leading to the media giant’s shut down,” WRN said.

“It is also during his administration that the TRAIN law, which lowered personal income tax but imposed excise taxes on fuel and sweetened beverages among other goods, was enacted,” it added.

A number of survey respondents also wished for changes in how the administration carries out its war on drugs (12.49%), infrastructure program (7.18), and its policy on free tuition in state universities (4.93%).

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