More Filipinos still oppose Charter change, but support for it grew – Pulse Asia
MANILA, Philippines — More Filipinos are still opposed to amending the 1987 Constitution although support for it increased since six months ago, according to Pulse Asia’s latest Charter change (Cha-cha) survey released Tuesday.
In the poll conducted from March 15-19, Pulse Asia found that revising the Charter remains unfavorable for 45 percent and favorable for 41 percent of 1,200 adult respondents.
Compared with the same survey made in September 2022, however, Pulse Asia noted that Cha-cha has become “more pronounced” in the March audit. To recall, the September 2022 study showed 56 percent disagreed while 31 percent agreed to proposals to tinker with the Constitution.
The March Cha-cha survey was conducted after the House of Representatives passed a bill seeking to implement a resolution calling for a constitutional convention (con-con) to amend or revise the 1987 Constitution.
Of the total respondents, 45 percent opposed constitutional change (Cha-cha), with 31 percent completely against it and 14 percent considering the possibility in the future.
Another 14 percent of the respondents said they had not yet formed their opinion on the proposal.
Cha-cha awareness ‘essentially unchanged’
The Pulse Asia audit likewise mentioned that despite the highly publicized hearings and heated debates on motions to amend the 36-year-old Charter over the past few months, awareness “remain[s] essentially unchanged.”
This was so because only 53 percent of the respondents were knowledgeable about Cha-cha proposals before the conduct of the survey, the polling firm noted.
It also noted that 79 percent of the respondents admitted having little to absolutely no knowledge of the 1987 Constitution, while at least 21 percent have sufficient knowledge about it.
Filipinos buck seven key changes in Charter
Moreover, the Cha-cha survey found that 53 percent to 76 percent disapprove of the following proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution:
- Allowing foreign individuals and companies to utilize Philippine national resources – 76 percent
- Allowing foreign individuals and companies to own residential and industrial lands – 72 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 equal ownership in mass media and advertising – 57 percent
- Extending terms of office of national and local elective officials – 56 percent
- Lifting prohibition on foreign ownership of communication companies – 53 percent
- Lifting prohibition on foreign ownership of utilities like electricity – 44 percent
“Nearly the same percentage points are either in favor or not in favor of two Charter change proposals – allowing foreign individuals and companies to practice their profession in the Philippines (40 percent versus 45 percent) and changing the system of government to a federal one (38 percent versus 42 percent),” Pulse Asia said.
Filipinos are likewise “split regarding the creation of a con-con to change the 1987 Philippine Constitution,” it added.
The House has given its final nod to relax economic restrictions in the Charter via con-con, but a similar push in the Senate – distinct with its proposed mode being a constituent assembly – is met with a seemingly unpromising fate as it still lacks support from members of the upper chamber.