The Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted from June 27-30, 2018, found that four out of five adult Filipinos repudiate the government’s policy of doing nothing about China’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea.

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  • 81% say it is not right to do nothing about China’s intrusion in claimed territories
  • 80% want the military, particularly the Navy, to be strengthened
  • 74% want to bring the issue to international organizations for diplomatic negotiations
  • 73% say it is alright for PH and China to have direct, bilateral negotiations
  • 68% say the government should ask other countries to mediate
  • Net trust in China falls to “Bad” -35

Sources:

The Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted from June 27-30, 2018, found that four out of five adult Filipinos repudiate the government’s policy of doing nothing about China’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea.

The June 2018 survey asked, “Is [activity] RIGHT or NOT RIGHT for the Philippine government to do in resolving the conflict between the Philippines and China about the West Philippine Sea?” Five specific activities were tested.

To this, 81% said it is not right to leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the claimed territories [Chart 1].

At the same time, 80% said it is right for the government to strengthen the military capability of the Philippines, especially the Navy.

Seventy-four percent said it is right for the government to bring the issue to international organizations, like the United Nations or Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for a diplomatic and peaceful negotiation with China about the claimed territories.

Seventy-three percent said it is alright to have direct, bilateral negotiations between the Philippines and China to discuss the resolution of the issue of the claimed territories.

Sixty-eight percent said the government should ask other countries to mediate the issue of the claimed territories.

81% are aware of the West Philippine Sea conflict; among them, 43% have only a little, 40% adequate, and 12% extensive knowledge about it

The June 2018 survey also found 81% aware of the West Philippine Sea conflict even before the survey, while the remaining 19% learned about the issue only during the interview [Chart 2].

Among those who were aware about the West Philippine Sea conflict before the interview, 12% had extensive knowledge, 40% had adequate knowledge, 43% had only a little knowledge, and 5% had very little knowledge about the matter.

Net trust in China falls to “Bad” -35

The June 2018 survey found 18% of adult Filipinos with much trust, 27% undecided, and 53% with little trust in China [Chart 3, Table 1].

This brings China’s net trust rating (% much trust minus % little trust, correctly rounded) to a bad -35.

This is a 42-point decline, and one grade down, from the neutral +7 in March 2018. This is the lowest since the bad -37 in April 2016.

The SWS terminology for Net Trust Ratings: +70 and above, “excellent”; +50 to +69, “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”, +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; -50 to -69, “very bad”; -70 and below, “execrable”.

Higher distrust in China among those who know more about the West Philippine Sea conflict

China’s net trust rating was a bad -38 among those who were aware of the West Philippine Sea conflict before the survey, compared to the poor -22 among those who learned about it only during the interview [Chart 4].

Distrust in China also tended to be higher among those with more knowledge about the West Philippine Sea conflict: net trust in China was at -41 among those with extensive knowledge, and -42 among those with adequate knowledge, compared to -33 among those with only a little knowledge, and -35 among those with very little knowledge.

High distrust in China regardless of public satisfaction with Pres. Duterte

The net trust rating of China was at bad levels regardless of people’s satisfaction with Pres. Duterte: it was highest among those who were dissatisfied with the President, at -42, followed by those who were undecided, at -39, and among those who were satisfied with him, at -32 [Chart 5].

 

Survey Background

The June 2018 Social Weather Survey was conducted from June 27-30, 2018 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao).

The area estimates were weighted by Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2018 to obtain the national estimates.

The Social Weather Survey items on people’s opinion about the West Philippine Sea conflict were non-commissioned. They were included on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service.

Questionnaire

The exact survey questions are as follows:

Introduction (Filipino):

            Ang West Philippine Sea ay nasa kanlurang bahagi ng Pilipinas. Kasama sa West Philippine Sea ang Luzon Sea, at mga karagatang nakapaligid, nakapaloob at nakapalibot sa Pangkat Islang Kalayaan o Kalayaan Group of Islands sa Palawan, at sa Bajo De Masinloc, na tinatawag ding Scarborough Shoal, sa Zambales. 

            Ngunit ang mga ito ay agresibong inaangkin ng Tsina dahil ayon sa kanila, sila ang may-ari ng lahat ng tubig, mga bato, at likas-yaman na napapaloob sa 9-na-guhit (9-dash line) na sumasakop sa halos buong South China Sea, kasama na rito ang karagatan ng Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea.

            Ang Pilipinas ay tutol sa pag-aangkin na ito ng Tsina, dahil ang nasabing West Philippine Sea ay pagmamay-ari ng Pilipinas ayon sa ating Saligang Batas at ayon sa batas internasyunal o United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), kung kaya’t noong 2013 ay nagsampa ng kaso ang Pilipinas laban sa China sa International Arbitral Tribunal, ngunit hindi humarap ang China sa mga pagdinig ng kasong ito.  Noong 2016 ay nagdesisyon na ang International Arbitral Tribunal na pabor sa Pilipinas, ngunit hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa din kinikilala at tinatanggap ng China ang desisyon ng International Arbitral Tribunal.  Ang China lamang ang tanging bansa sa Asya na hindi kumikilala at tumatanggap sa desisyong ito.

            Sa kabila ng maraming pagsisikap ng Pilipinas na maisaayos ang usaping ito, patuloy pa rin ang Tsina sa kanyang agresibong pag-aangkin at ilegal na panghihimasok sa mga isla sa West Philippine Sea. Kabilang sa mga agresibong kilos na ito ng Tsina ang paghahadlang (harassment) sa mga Pilipinong mangingisda at mangangalakal na makinabang sa yaman ng sariling karagatan, pagtatayo ng mga imprastraktura sa ilang isla, at pananatili ng kanilang mga barko sa karagatang napapaloob sa West Philippine Sea.

Introduction (English):

            The West Philippine Sea is in the Western part of the Philippines. The West Philippine Sea includes the Luzon Sea, as well as waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in Palawan, and Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, in Zambales.

            However, these are being aggressively claimed by China because according to them, they own all the waters, features, rocks, and natural resources within the 9-dash-line that encompasses almost the entire South China Sea, including the Philippine waters in the West Philippine Sea.

            The Philippines is against these claims by China because the West Philippine Sea belongs to the Philippines based on our Constitution and on international law, or the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), that is why the Philippines filed a case against China in the International Arbitral Tribunal in 2013, but China did not attend the hearings of this case.  In 2016, the International Arbitral Tribunal decided in favor of the Philippines, but until now, China still does not recognize nor accept the decision of the International Arbitral Tribunal. China is the only nation in Asia that does not recognize nor accept this decision.

            Despite the numerous efforts of the Philippines to resolve this issue, China continues to aggressively claim and illegally intrude into the islands in the West Philippine Sea. China’s aggressive actions include the harassment of Filipino fishermen and traders and preventing them from benefitting from their own marine resources, constructing infrastructures in some islands, and maintaining a presence of their ships in the waters of the West Philippine Sea.

 

Q119.  Dati na po ba ninyong alam ang pagtatalo ukol sa West Philippine Sea sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at Tsina, o ngayon lamang ninyo ito narinig? (DATI NANG ALAM; NGAYON LAMANG NARINIG) [Were you previously aware about the West Philippine Sea dispute between the Philippines and China, or did you know about this only now? (PREVIOUSLY AWARE; HEARD ABOUT IT ONLY NOW)]

Q120. IF PREVIOUSLY AWARE: Masasabi po ba ninyo na ang inyo pong nalalaman tungkol sa pagtatalo ukol sa West Philippine Sea sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at Tsina ay… (MALAWAK; SAPAT; KAUNTI LANG; NAPAKAKAUNTI)? [IF PREVIOUSLY AWARE: Would you say that your knowledge about the West Philippine Sea dispute between the Philippines and China is… (EXTENSIVE; ADEQUATE; ONLY A LITTLE; VERY LITTLE)?]

Q121-125. Ang mga sumusunod ay ilan sa mga maaaring gawin ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas upang malutas ang pagtatalo nito at Tsina tungkol sa West Philippine Sea. Sa inyong palagay, ito ba (shuffle cards) ay tama o hindi tama na pamamaraan na gawin ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas upang malutas ang pagtatalo ng Pilipinas at Tsina tungkol sa West Philippne Sea? Pakisabi ang sagot ninyo sa pamamagitan ng paglagay ng mga kard sa naaangkop na lugar sa rating board na ito. (TAMA, HINDI TAMA) [The following are things that the Philippine government can do in resolving the conflict between the Philippines and China about the West Philippine Sea. In your opinion, is (SHUFFLE CARDS) RIGHT or NOT RIGHT for the Philippine government to do in resolving the conflict between the Philippines and China about the West Philippine Sea? You may indicate your answers by placing each card on the appropriate box on this rating board. (RIGHT, NOT RIGHT)]

            FOR EACH CARD (ACTIVITY): Ito ba… ay TAMA o HINDI TAMA na pamamaraan na gawin ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas upang malutas ang pagtatalo ng Pilipinas at Tsina tungkol sa West Philippne Sea? [Is… RIGHT or NOT RIGHT for the Philippine government to do in resolving the conflict between the Philippines and China about the West Philippine Sea?]:

Q121.  Makiusap sa ibang bansa na mamagitan sa Pilipinas at Tsina tungkol sa mga inaangking mga teritoryo (Ask other countries to mediate the issue of the claimed territories)

Q122.  Dalhin ang isyu sa mga internasyonal na organisasyon, katulad ng United Nations o Association of Southeast Asean Nations (ASEAN), para sa diplomatiko at mapayapang pakikipag-negosasyon sa Tsina tungkol sa mga inaangking mga teritoryo (Refer the issue to international organizations, like the United Nations or Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for a diplomatic and peaceful negotiation with China about the claimed territories)

Q123.  Magkaroon ng direktang negosasyon sa pagitan lamang ng Pilipinas at Tsina upang mapag-usapan ng dalawang bansa ang paglutas sa kanilang pagtatalo tungkol sa mga inaangking mga teritoryo (Have direct, bilateral negotiations between the Philippines and China only so the two countries can discuss the resolution of the issue of the claimed territories)

Q124.  Palakasin ang kakayahang militar ng Pilipinas, lalo na ang Navy (Strengthen military capability of the Philippines, especially the Navy)

Q125.  Pabayaan na lang ang Tsina na panatilihin ang mga imprastraktura at militar sa mga inaangking mga teritoryo (Leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the claimed territories)

 

The SWS terminology for Net Trust Ratings: +70 and above, “excellent”; +50 to +69, “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”, +9 to –9, “neutral”; –10 to –29, “poor”; –30 to –49, “bad”; –50 to –69, “very bad”; –70 and below, “execrable.” SWS considers the movement from one classification to another as either an “upgrade” or “downgrade.”

SWS employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data-processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations. This report was prepared by Leo Laroza, with special tabulations by Joanne Evangelista.

Link to the original survey results:

https://www.sws.org.ph/swsmain/artcldisppage/?artcsyscode=ART-20180714202446&mc_cid=ed998182eb&mc_eid=6280559e78

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