88% of Pinoys oppose Cha-cha – Pulse Asia

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
88% of Pinoys oppose Cha-cha � Pulse Asia
Protesta laban sa Charter Change sa labas ng Kamara ngayong Marso 2024
Released / Bagong Alyansang Makabayan

MANILA, Philippines — Public opinion on Charter change, which last year was roughly divided among Filipinos, is now largely skewed toward those opposed to changing the country’s Constitution, a survey conducted by Pulse Asia showed.

From 41 percent in March 2023, those supporting amending the Constitution at this time has dwindled to just eight percent in the latest survey conducted from March 6 to 10 this year.

Meanwhile, those opposing Charter change at this time increased from 45 percent to 88 percent.

It was composed of 14 percent who said that the 1987 Constitution may be amended some other time (same as in last survey) and 74 percent who said it should not be amended now nor any other time (up from 31 percent).

Support for Charter change was highest among those in the Visayas at 15 percent (from 55 percent), followed by those in Metro Manila at 14 percent (from 27 percent), Mindanao at eight percent (from 37 percent) and rest of Luzon at four percent (from 41 percent).

Those opposed to amending the Constitution were highest among respondents from Mindanao at 91 percent (from 51 percent), followed by those in balance Luzon at 89 percent (from 39 percent), the Visayas at 85 percent (from 40 percent) and Metro Manila at 81 percent (from 59 percent).

Across socioeconomic classes, support for Charter change also dropped to single digits, while those opposing it reached as high as 93 percent among the poorest respondents.

Administration allies, particularly those at the House of Representatives, have pushed for amending several provisions of the 1987 Constitution, primarily economic provisions.

Earlier this year, senators and various stakeholders criticized a people’s initiative campaign that would have pushed for the joint voting of the Senate and the House of Representatives when amending the Constitution.

Support for the signature drive faltered, with the House of Representatives later approving the Resolution of Both Houses that seeks to amend the economic provisions only.

Its counterpart resolution at the Senate remains pending.

Not in favor

Based on the Pulse Asia survey, the majority of Filipinos are not in favor of the different proposed amendments to the Constitution.

These include allowing foreign individuals and companies to own schools or universities (24 percent in favor, 68 percent not in favor), own foreign equity in mass media and advertising (19 percent in favor, 71 percent not in favor), own residential and industrial lands (10 percent in favor, 81 percent not in favor) and exploit natural resources (six percent in favor, 86 percent not in favor).

Other proposed amendments included in the survey were the lifting of prohibition on foreign ownership on communications like cellphone and internet company (19 percent in favor, 71 percent not in favor) and the removal of the limits on shares of stocks in Philippine corporations that foreign individuals and companies may own (14 percent in favor, 78 percent not in favor).

A majority also oppose several political amendments, including changing the present unitary system of government to federal system (18 percent in favor, 71 percent not in favor), term extension for national and local elective officials, except barangay officials (18 percent in favor, 73 percent not in favor), shift from bicameral to unicameral legislature (12 percent in favor, 74 percent not in favor) and change from a presidential to parliamentary system of government (14 percent in favor, 71 percent not in favor).

Based on the survey, 67 percent of the respondents have previously heard, read about or watched efforts to change the Constitution via people’s initiative.

Some seven percent said they have been given a petition, with a quarter of them (24 percent) signing it.

Among those who signed, 45 percent said they were given incentives.

Various groups, including a number of government agencies, have called out proponents of the people’s initiative after reports said that the signatories were promised certain incentives.

The Commission on Elections later halted proceedings on the people’s initiative pending review of the guidelines. It also released a withdrawal form for those who wish to withdraw their signatures.

Pulse Asia’s non-commissioned Ulat ng Bayan survey had 1,200 respondents and a margin of error of plus/minus 2.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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