Most Muslims favor Bangsamoro Organic Law: SWS

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2019 05:16 AM | Updated as of Jan 22 2019 04:14 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) Most Muslims are in favor of the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Monday night, as vote count continues from the first day of the plebiscite.

The poll, conducted from December 16 to 19, 2018, revealed that 79 percent of Muslim respondents approved the BOL, which would grant greater fiscal and political autonomy to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities.

Some 14 percent of Muslim respondents are undecided on the proposed measure, while 7 percent disagree.

Compared to other faiths, the BOL garnered a net approval score of 15 percent among Iglesia ni Cristo members, 10 percent among Catholics, and 9 percent among other Christians.

Among adults polled in Mindanao, 41 percent of respondents are pro-BOL, while 31 percent opposed the measure. Some 28 percent are undecided.

Compared to other areas, net approval score of BOL was 17 percent in the Visayas, 16 percent in Balance Luzon, and 13 percent in Metro Manila.

Malacañang welcomed the results of the survey on Tuesday and expressed hopes for the ratification of the measure.

"The Bangsamoro people have enough of war, terrorism and poverty. They hunger for peace and thirst for development in Mindanao," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"We hope that the aspiration of our Muslim brothers and sisters for a peaceful and progressive Bangsamoro region will commence its realization following the ratification of the BOL," he added.

Awareness on BOL is also high among Muslim respondents, receiving 78 percent. Only 22 percent said they have no knowledge of the bill, which will create a Bangsamoro entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

About 3 out of 5 adults in Mindanao, which translates to 63 percent, know about the BOL.

The BOL was created in 2014 as part of a peace deal between the government and the Philippines’ largest Muslim separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Results from the survey also showed that 76 percent of Muslim respondents said that the MILF is capable of governing the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

Some 8 percent said otherwise, while 16 percent are undecided.

The net approval score of MILF's capability to govern the new entity, however, is low among adults polled in Mindanao.

Some 38 percent of the respondents don't believe that MILF is competent while 32 percent are undecided. Only 30 percent said the group is capable of governing BARMM.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who has long backed the creation of BARMM to end decades-long strife in the restive south, apparently has swayed some respondents.

Net approval of the BOL was higher among those satisfied with his performance at 20 percent. Some 5 percent are undecided, while a negative 3 percent said otherwise.

The nationwide SWS survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,440 adults ages 18 and older.

The SWS polled 360 adults in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

It had sampling error margins of ±2.6 percent for national percentages, and ±5% for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.