Duterte must address issues other than crime – poll

Carmela Fonbuena
Duterte must address issues other than crime – poll

Alecs Ongcal

Improving the pay of workers is the most urgent national concern, a September 2016 Pulse Asia poll shows

MANILA, Philippines – A new Pulse Asia survey showed that Filipinos do not consider “fighting criminality” as the most urgent national concern for the Duterte administration. The same survey showed that peace and order is a top community concern that most Filipinos think local governments should focus on.

The percentage of Filipinos who tagged “fighting criminality” as one of the 3 most urgent “national concerns” dived 21 points from 52% in a July 2016 poll to 31% in a September 2016 poll. 

“It can be taken as an indication they want the administration to shift to other concerns,” according to Pulse Asia Research President Ronald Holmes. 

The new poll shows the following issues were more urgent to Filipinos:

  • Improving/Increasing the pay of workers (46% or up 6 points)
  • Creating more jobs (38% or up 6 points)
  • Controlling inflation (37% or up 4 points)
  • Fighting graft and corruption in government (32% or down 5 points)
  • Reducing poverty of many Filipinos (32% or up 2 points)

Duterte campaigned on a platform to suppress crime, drugs, and corruption.

The July 2016 poll was the first time that “fighting criminality” registered very high numbers, an “aberration” that Holmes said was likely fueled by the public’s “anticipation” of the government’s high-prorfile war on drugs.

Results of the new poll in September showed a return to the traditional responses regarding Filipinos’ “most urgent concerns.” The survey showed that the public is still concerned about “fighting criminality,” but this has ceased to be a pressing “national issue” compared to 3 months ago, said Holmes. 

The question was phrased as follows: “Sa mga sumusunod na isyung pambansa, pakisabi ang 3 isyung dapat aksyunan agad ng administrasyon ni President Duterte. Maari kayong magbanggit ng iba pa na wala sa listahan. Alin po ang unang isyung dapat aksyunan agad ng kasalukuyang administrasyon? Ang pangalawa? Ang pangatlo?”

(Among the following national issues, please identify the 3 issues the administration of President Duterte should attend to immediately. You can mention other issues not specified in the list. Which is the first issue the current administration should attend to immediately? The second? And the third?)

Only up to 14% of the population regard fighting criminality as the top most national concern.

Workers’ pay

A total of 1,200 respondents were asked to choose the 3 top concerns that President Rodrigo Duterte should prioritize. 

Improving pay of workers was considered the most urgent concern by 19% of the population, 2nd most urgent concern by 16%, and 3rd most urgent concern by 11%. 

Creating jobs was considered the most urgent concern by 12% of the population, 2nd most urgent concern by 12%, and 3rd most urgent concern by 14%. 

Top concern among ABC

Fighting criminality is not among the top 3 most urgent concerns among geographical areas.

But it rated as one of the top 3 concerns among the richest respondents (ABC), based on socio-economic class. 

The biggest chunk of the population, Class D, consider improving pay of workers (45%), creating more jobs 38%), and controlling inflation (36%) as the most urgent national concerns. Only 30% of Class D said “fighting criminality” is among the most urgent national concerns. 

The survey has an error margin of 3 percentage points. 

Intensify war on drugs in the local level

The same Pulse Asia poll showed that 27.4% considered “peace and order” as the “most urgent concern in the community,” particularly the proliferation of illegal drugs (18.3% out of the 27.4% nationwide). 

Holmes explained that as a community concern, compared to a national concern, peace and order is something that the public wants local governments to address with the help of the national government. On community concerns, the respondents were not given a list to choose from. 

The other most urgent concerns in the community are the following, as listed down by respondents:

  • Public infrastructure improvements (13.2%)
  • Employment (11.9%)
  • Waste management/Cleanliness (11.2%)
  • Access to water/Insufficient or unreliable water supply (9.9%)
  • Flooding (6%)
  • Health concerns (4.4%)
  • Traffic (2.9%)
  • Agriculture (2%)
  • Low cost housing (1.5%)
  • Access to electricity (1.1%)
  • Governance (1.1%)

The question did not include the name of Duterte. It was phrased as follows: Ano pong problema o isyu sa inyong lugar o barangay ang dapat aksyunan ng kasalukuyang administrasyon (What problem or issue in your locality or barangay should the administration attend to?) 

Concern for peace and order is highest among the respondents in the NCR (41.7%) and ABC (43%). Up to 18.3% of the NCR respondents and 25.5% of ABC respondents singled out drugs as a main concern.

In comparison, Balance Luzon numbers suggests they were equally concerned about “lack of employment” (15.5%) compared to the proliferation of drugs (14.9%). But Balance Luzon considers “peace and order” in general as the most urgent community concern (22.4%). 

Respondents from Class E are also equally concerned about “lack of employment” (14%) and proliferation of drugs (13.9%)  

Mindanao respondents are equally concerned about the “proliferation of drugs” and “bridges and roads,” both considered most urgent community concerns by 18.9% of the regional respondents.

Error margin for regional breakdown is 6 percentage points. – Rappler.com

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