The national June 23–26, 2021 Social Weather Survey carried four questions sponsored by the Stratbase Albert Del Rosario (ADR) Institute and four questions initiated by Social Weather Stations (SWS) on public opinion about the West PH Sea.
The survey highlights, presented at the July 28, 2021 virtual town hall entitled “State of Philippine Governance: A Five-Year Review of the Duterte Presidency,” organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute, are as follows:
- Public opinion clearly favors stronger action to assert the country’s right in the West Philippine Sea as per the 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration;
- Public opinion very strongly favors alliances with other countries to defend Philippine rights in the West PH Sea;
- Public opinion very strongly favors building structures in the West PH Sea as a means of asserting Philippine rights;
- The most demanded government moves are: a) Strengthen internal Philippine military capability; b) Conduct joint military exercises with allies, and; c) Implement the terms of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA);
SWS: 47% of adult Filipinos say gov’t not doing enough to assert rights in West PH Sea
- National opinion is “tepid” (positive, but weak) as to the adequacy of protection of (a) fishermen’s rights, (b) the natural resources, and (c) Philippine territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea;
- National opinion is likewise tepid as to the benefit to the Philippines from the friendship of President Duterte with China;
- Filipino sentiments are geographically affected by the predominant distrust in China: national opinion consists of anti-administration opinions in Metro Manila and Luzon outside of Metro Manila (termed Balance Luzon), mixed with pro-administration opinions in Mindanao and Visayas.
The June 2021 survey found 47% of adult Filipinos agreeing (consisting of 18% strongly agree and 29% somewhat agree), and 24% disagreeing (consisting of 15% somewhat disagree and 9% strongly disagree), with the statement, “The Philippine government is not doing enough to assert its rights to the country’s territories in the West Philippine Sea as stipulated in the 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration”. Twenty-nine percent were undecided.
This gives a Net Agreement score (% agree minus % disagree) of +23, classified by SWS as ‘moderately strong’ (+10 to +29).
Net Agreement was ‘moderately strong’ in all areas: it was higher in Metro Manila (+25), Balance Luzon (+24), and Mindanao (+24) than in the Visayas (+17).