By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
MANILA – Majority of Filipinos or 64 percent of them oppose charter change or amending the 1987 Philippine Constitution, according to the latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia Research Incorporated.
The survey, which was conducted from March 23 to 28, found that opposition to charter change increased by 20 percentage points from 44 percent in July 2016.
Of the 64 percent who oppose the shift to Federalism, 32 percent have expressed openness to altering the Constitution sometime in the future but not at the present, while the other 32 percent said that charter change should not be done now or in the future.
According to Pulse Asia, this result is due to the rise of opposition in Metro Manila (59 percent), Balance Luzon (71 percent), Mindanao (58 percent) and the rising opposition from Class ABC (61 percent) and Class D (48 percent).
The survey also revealed that one of four Pinoys or 23 percent is supportive of amending the Constitution now.
However, the public support for charter change declined by 14 percentage points from 37 percent in July 2016, with only 13 percent are ambivalent on the matter.
Moreover, the number of Filipinos aware of proposals to amend the Constitution increased to 49 percent from 41 percent in July 2016.
Federalism and the Constitution
The Pulse Asia survey also showed that a big majority of Pinoys or 72 percent of them know little/almost none/nothing at all about the proposed shift to Federalism.
Of the 71 percent, 43 percent have little knowledge, while 27 percent have almost no/no knowledge at all about Federalism.
“Lack or absence of awareness is reported by most Filipinos across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (62 percent to 79 percent and 64 percent to 75 percent, respectively),” Pulse Asia noted.
The survey also found that only 29 percent of Pinoys have a great deal or sufficient amount of knowledge about the issue while only 7 percent said they have a great deal of knowledge on Federalism and 22 percent have sufficient knowledge on the matter.
“Thirty-six percent of Filipinos expressed opposition on the altering of the system of government, regardless of the timing of such change, while 30 percent are opposed to it now but may be open to changing to a federal government in the future,” the Pulse Asia survey reads.
It said only 27 percent are supportive of Federalism, while six percent are ambivalent on the matter.
Moreover, Pulse Asia noted that knowledge levels about the Constitution have not changed since the last survey in July 2016.
In a news statement, Malacañang through Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the poll findings show that the government has a lot of work to do to inform, educate and reach out to Filipinos regarding Constitutional reforms.
“This implies there is still a lot of work to be done by the government in informing, educating and reaching out to our countrymen regarding constitutional reforms,” Roque said.
In a report by Rappler, the Consultative Committee (Con-Com) is confident that more Filipinos will support amendments to the 1987 Constitution once the Con-Com presents its proposals to the public.
“Once we are done and the proposed revisions are presented to the public, we are confident that the public perception will change,” the Con-Com said.
The Committee also noted that the survey was conducted at “a time when it was still working on a draft federal constitution.”
“The survey was held from March 23 to 28, three months after President Rodrigo Duterte appointed the Committee’s members,” Rappler report reads.
The Committee also disputed how the results were interpreted by Pulse Asia, stating that respondents who said, “No, the Constitution should not be amended now but it may be amended sometime in the future,” should be considered as in favor of charter change.
“To their mind, the future could be in 2019 – when the proposed revisions may be ready for submission to them in a plebiscite,” the Committee added.