Federal system what? 75% of Filipinos not aware – SWS survey
Majority of Filipino adults remain unaware of the federal system of government, but 37 percent of them agree with it, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey result revealed on Thursday.
The SWS survey for the first quarter of 2018, which as conducted on March 23 to 27, found that one in four or 25 percent Filipino adults nationwide said they know about the federal system of government, while 75 percent learned about it only during the survey.
Despite the low awareness, the survey found that 37 percent of respondents agree with the federal system of government, consisting of 14 percent who strongly agree and 23 percent who somewhat agree.
On the other hand, 29 percent of the respondents disagree with the federal system of government, with 12 percent saying they somewhat disagree and 17 percent saying they strongly disagree, while 34 percent remain undecided about the matter.
The garnered rates give a net agreement score of +7, which SWS classified as neutral.
Aside from this, the survey also showed there is higher awareness and support for the federal system in Mindanao, among college graduates, and Muslims.
Awareness about the federal system of government was highest in Mindanao at 37 percent, followed by Metro Manila at 28 percent, Visayas at 22 percent, and Balance Luzon at 20 percent.
Support for the federal system of government was also highest in Mindanao with a very strong net agreement score of +43 (59 percent agree, 16 percent disagree), followed by Metro Manila at a neutral +7 (38 percent agree, 31 percent disagree), Visayas at a neutral +2 (32% percent agree, 30 percent disagree), and Balance Luzon at a neutral –8 (27 percent agree, 35 percent disagree).
At 53 percent, college graduates support a federal system of government, followed by high school graduates at 26 percent, non-elementary graduates at 17 percent, and elementary graduates at 16 percent.
By religion, awareness about the federal system was highest among Muslims at 51 percent, followed by Iglesia ni Cristo members at 37 percent, other Christians at 32 percent, and Catholics at 22 percent.
The survey was conducted nationwide using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above), with sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies in Congress have been pushing for Charter change (Cha-cha), which could pave the way for a shift to a federal form of government. Federalism was among Mr. Duterte’s campaign promises, and an advocacy of his party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
The lower House has earlier adopted a resolution for a constituent assembly (Con-ass) that will amend the Constitution for a shift to federalism, but the Senate has yet to decide whether the Charter’s amendment should be done by a Con-ass or by an elected constitutional convention (Con-con).
Duterte, nevertheless, created a consultative committee (Con-com) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution and craft a new Charter under a federal form of government. The panel is expected to soon present its proposed new Charter to Duterte, who will then submit it to Congress.
Congress would then deliberate to either affirm or reject Con-com’s recommendations. /kga
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