MANILA — Filipinos are split about changing the 1987 Philippine Constitution at this time, a Pulse Asia survey released on Tuesday showed.
"Essentially the same percentages of Filipino adults are either opposed to (45 percent) or supportive of (41 percent) changing the 1987 Philippine Constitution now," Pulse Asia said, citing its March 15 to 19 survey of 1,200 adults.
In the Visayas, 55 percent agreed that the Constitution should be amended at this time.
On the other hand, "a big plurality" of Filipinos in Metro Manila, or 41 percent, opposed Charter change "regardless of when it will be done."
In the rest of Luzon Luzon, sentiment is split on the matter.
"Among Mindanawons, basically the same percentages are either in favor of charter change now (37 percent) or do not see the need for it now but are open to constitutional changes in the future (27 percent)," Pulse Asia added.
But the pollster noted that public support for Charter change at the national level had become "more pronounced" between September 2022 and March 2023, with an increase of 10 percentage points.
Meanwhile, "small to huge majorities of Filipino adults," or 53 to 76 percent, opposed 7 proposed amendments to the Constitution, which included the following.
- - Lifting the prohibition on foreign ownership of communications companies (53 percent)
- - Lifting the prohibition on foreign ownership of utilities like electricity (55 percent)
- - Extending the terms of office of national and local elective officials (56 percent)
- - Allowing foreign individuals and companies equal ownership
- in mass media and advertising (57 percent)
- - Removing limits on shares of stocks in Philippine corporations that may be owned by foreign individuals and companies (67 percent)
- - Allowing foreign individuals and companies to own residential and industrial lands (72 percent)
- - Allowing foreign individuals and companies to utilize Philippine national resources (76 percent)
The survey also revealed that less than half of Filipinos, or 47 percent, had prior awareness of proposals to change the Constitution. Pulse said the figures remained "essentially unchanged" between September 2022 and March 2023.
A big plurality of Filipino adults, or 44 percent, meanwhile, admitted they had little knowledge about the Constitution.
The House of Representatives last month approved a resolution that seeks to amend the 1987 Constitution through a "hybrid" Constitutional Convention.
However, some senators said moves to amend the charter did not have enough support in the Senate.
The Pulse survey showed that Filipinos are split on the creation of a Constitutional Convention to amend the Charter.
Elected by the public, the members of the Constitutional Convention will draft the changes to the 1987 Constitution. But they will not be limited to just economic provisions and could revise all articles of the constitution, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said.
"A little over a third of Filipino adults (34 percent) agree with the creation of a constitutional convention for the purpose of amending the country’s charter. A contrary opinion is held by nearly the same percentage of the adult population (30 percent)," Pulse Asia said.