Executive Summary – Findings of PAHAYAG VisMin Poll
Awareness and Understanding of Federalism
Two-thirds of all respondents were not aware of the push for federalism. Awareness was lowest in Eastern Visayas, where only 10.88% of respondents are aware of the federalism issue. However, two-thirds of respondents from BARMM are aware of federalism. This is the only region in which the majority of respondents have high rate of awareness.
Among those who are aware of the issue, interest in federalism is generally high, except in the regions of Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Caraga. It should be noted that interest was exceptionally high in BARMM.
The majority of respondents who are aware of federalism indicated that they PARTLY UNDERSTAND FEDERALISM. A sizeable proportion of respondents indicated that they UNDERSTAND A LOT ABOUT FEDERALISM in Western Visayas and Davao Region.
Importance of Federalism and its Form
A large proportion of respondents who are aware of federalism indicated that transitioning towards FEDERALISM is IMPORTANT or VERY IMPORTANT. A large part of the remainder also indicated that they are NOT SURE. The proportion of respondents who indicated that transitioning to federalism is important is especially large in SOCCSKSARGEN, Caraga, and BARMM.
A large proportion of respondents who are aware of federalism indicated that they are partial to a PRESIDENTIAL form of federalism. There was no consensus regarding the various facets of federalism proposed, including senatorial representation by region and a single-ticket election of the president and vice president.
The majority of respondents who are aware of federalism indicated that they would prefer a transition period over transitioning immediately to federalism.
Perceptions of Federalism vis-a-vis Present System
The majority of respondents who are aware of federalism indicated that they agree with the statement that the current manner of government fund distribution under the unitary system of government is a contributing factor to poverty. This number was especially high in BARMM.
In relation to this, majority of the respondents who are aware of federalism indicated that they agree with several statements implying that Manila is given preferential treatment by the national government. The figures also imply that respondents feel marginalized due to their distance from Manila, and that their regions do not afford the same level of attention or care as Manila.
Additionally, the majority of respondents who are aware of federalism indicated that they agree that federalism will empower local governments but could also tighten the grip of local dynasties on power.
Respondents are split as to whether the shift to federalism would improve their lives or change Filipino politics.
West Philippine Sea
Awareness and Level of Interest
The majority of respondents (57.15%) are aware of the issues concerning the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Interest in WPS issues is high, with an indication of HIGH or VERY HIGH level of interest from the respondents.
Specific Issues of Interest
Respondents identified Chinese interference and restrictions on the movements of Filipino fishermen in Philippine waters, the capabilities of the Philippine Navy to take on the Chinese navy, and the need to deepen negotiations with China as the most pressing WPS issue that needs to be addressed. Over 40% of the respondents noted these as among the top 3 issues that need to be resolved by the national government.
An overwhelming majority of respondents aware of the issue (over 40% of total respondents) agree that Chinese military installations in the WPS pose a threat to Philippine national security, and that making use of legal protections and mechanisms provided under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) can help the Philippines assert its rights in the WPS.
A similar majority are also confident that the government will not give up Philippine territories in the WPS. Almost all respondents aware of the issue agreed that it was IMPORTANT or VERY IMPORTANT for the Philippines to take back control of the WPS, with only 0.7% of respondents saying it was NOT IMPORTANT or IRRELEVANT.
Awareness and Level of Interest
Less than half of respondents (45.7%) indicated that they have read or heard anything about the death penalty issue. Around four out of every five respondents who are aware of the issue signified as HIGH or VERY HIGH level of interest.
Position on Issue
The majority of respondents who are aware of the issue (61.7%) support the death penalty, while 31.4% of those aware are against it. Support appears to be especially high in Western Visayas, Central Visayas and SOCCSKSARGEN. It is of note that those who are IN FAVOR of the death penalty decidedly outnumber those NOT IN FAVOR in all regions except Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and BARMM.
Perceptions on Death Penalty
Majority of the respondents aware of the death penalty view it as an effective deterrent to crime and as a provision of justice to families of victims of heinous crimes. They believe that will be imposed against all convicts regardless of socio-economic status, and that those convicted of a capital crime will have their human rights stripped. Aware respondents also agree that death penalty should be imposed on children between 15-18 years of age who fall under the auspice of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
Murder, abusive crimes (including those against children), terrorism, human trafficking, and kidnapping are the top five offenses identified by respondents as warranting the death penalty.
Awareness and Level of Interest
Only 36.7% of respondents answered that they are aware of discussions concerning a proposed divorce law. Interest in the issue appears to be high among those who are aware of the issue.
Position on Issue and Views
The majority of respondents who are aware of the divorce issue are in favor (52%) of the enactment of a divorce law. 42% of aware respondents are against divorce, and 6% are undecided.
Support for divorce appears to vary greatly from region to region. Support for divorce is strong in Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN, and Caraga, while opposition against it is strong in Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and BARMM.
While majority of the respondents aware of the issue believe divorce will be detrimental to Filipino families, they also believe that it will help victimized spouses get out of abusive marriages. Further, they believe that the Catholic Church should not have an influence on civil divorces.