11 Jun



Voters in Balance Luzon said that fighting for the decision of the International Court of Justice on the territory of the country in the West Philippine Sea (88%), working closely with ASEAN member nations(85%), and remaining a friend or ally of the Americans (84%) are the top three (3) in the national interest of the country. It is notable that voters chose being close to China as the least in our national interest.



Awareness of Federalism and main source of news about federalism

Only 4 out of 10 are aware of the proposal to shift the country’s form of government, and very few have a full understanding of the matter. Among those aware, 93% said that their main source of information about Federalism is TV, 36% said radio, 25% said newspapers, and an equal percentage of voters said internet web sites and social media at 12% respectively.

Opinion on the elements of federalism

As most of those who have heard about Federalism claim limited or no understanding of it, elements of Federalism have yet to earn the public’s favorability. Among those aware 40% favor a semi-presidential type of governance, 37% favor that they directly vote for the president, 31% favor equal election of 2 senators in each region of the federal government, and only 19% favor that a vote for the president is also a vote for the vice president.

Among those aware, 43% say they favor a presidential form of government while 21% favor a hybrid parliamentary and presidential form, 14% favor a parliamentary form, and 22% said they have no knowledge about it.

64% of voters agree that the way the government allocates its resources causes poverty, and this is more pronounced in Regions 2 and 4A.

Among those aware, 43% of voters affirm that their governor or mayor has the capability to perform more powers if the country shifts to a federal system. Two in five affirm that politics will change in a federal, semi-presidential form of government. Further, 35% think that political dynasties can control elections in a federal system, and almost a third think that life will improve if we shift to a federal system.

When to shift to a federal system

Only 23% of voters want the government to shift to a federal form of government right away, while 77% say there should be a transition period so the change in form of government is orderly. When asked when they think the Constitution should change, 66% of Balance Luzon voters said it should happen before 2019, under the term of PRRD.

Division of regions

When asked about what they think is the initial effective division of regions in a federal system, 43% said to let it be according to the agreement of cities that they are going to group together, while 24% said to just follow the present regional division, and a third said the islands first (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and NCR) so that it is financially viable.

Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)

Awareness of the BBL

Only a marginal number of voters at 28% are aware of BBL, with 72% who said they are not aware. Among those aware, only 3% said they understand discussions about the BBL and 25% said their understanding is not full or have no understanding about it though they have listened/watched discussions about it.

Favorability of BBL among Balance Luzon voters

Among those aware, when asked whether they favor having BBL in Mindanao or not, 28% said they favor it while 47% said they do not.

Agreement/Disagreement with possible effects of the BBL

About the possible effects of the BBL in Mindanao, 45% agree that BBL will likely increase economic output, employments, investments which will increase Mindanao’s overall contribution to national output and development. 35% agree that BBL will not bring peace in Mindanao since it not only favors one Muslim rebel group but also favors one religious group over others. Using religion to appeal for a group’s agenda should not have been entertained from the start.

46% of those aware agree that as security normalizes and economic activity resumes with vigor in the region, the intra- and interregional trade between and among the Mindanao regions, and with other regions in the country will be enhanced, in addition to foreign investors foreseen to inject fresh capital in the region.

An equal percentage of voters at 37% agree and disagree that even if Congress passes BBL, the Supreme Court will just declare it unconstitutional as during the time of President Arroyo’s proposed MOA-AD because it violated the rights of non-Muslims in Mindanao. And when this happens, the members of the MILF will throw a tantrum and proceed to wreak havoc in the region.

There are 45% of those aware who agree that the sustained policies for peace and the continuing and committed investments in various aspects of infrastructure will likely correct socioeconomic disparities in the region and the rest of Mindanao, raise human development, and reduce poverty.

37% agree that BBL will not really bring peace in Mindanao even if BBL is passed into law as there are still other rebel groups like the BIFF, MNLF, and Aby Sayyaf who are still in good fighting spirit. Their exclusion from the negotiating table is enough to make them reject the BBL.

Military Influence in Civilian Governance

Majority of voters in BL at 59% said that former military officials can be given cabinet positions and the president should appoint a former military official who acts fast, thinks strategically, and focuses on work instead of politics. Likewise, a majority of voters say that the influence of military people in the Duterte administration is big/significant. And 87% said that the influence of the military in the Duterte administration is good for the country.