Most Filipinos oppose gov't inaction vs China on West PH Sea: SWS

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2018 04:54 AM

MANILA - Most Filipinos are opposed to the government's supposed inaction on China's military encroachment in the West Philippine Sea, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed.

In a report released Monday night ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's 2-day visit in the country, the SWS said 84 percent of respondents said "it is not right for the government to leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the claimed territories."  

The latest figure is 3 points higher in June, which yielded 81 percent.

Results from the survey, conducted from Sept. 15 to 23 among 1,500 adults, also showed that 87 percent of respondents said the country should regain control of the islands occupied by China.

Awareness on the issue also rose to 89 percent, which is 8 points higher from the last poll.

The survey also found that 65 percent of respondents are aware that "the Chinese coast guard has forced Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea to turn over their catch."

SWS said that 71 percent of respondents said the government should raise the issue to international organizations, such as the United Nations, for diplomatic negotiation with China.

PUBLIC TRUST

Despite an improved relations between Manila and Beijing, China continued to hold a negative impression among Filipinos.

SWS said that China was rated "poor" in the Sept. survey with -16. Its net trust in June was rated "bad" with -35.

Public trust in China has been positive in only 9 out of 47 surveys since SWS first surveyed it in August 1994.

The major polling firm said that distrust in China was higher among those who were aware that China created artificial islands, which were used as military airbases.

Meanwhile, the country's longtime ally United States kept a "very good" rating. It yielded +59, which is 6 points below from the last survey.

Japan, Malaysia, and Israel, on the other hand, obtained a neutral net trust rating.

The nationwide SWS survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults ages 18 and older.

The SWS surveyed 600 adults in Balance Luzon and 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.

It had sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±4% for Balance Luzon and ±6% for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao.