More Filipinos against cha-cha, know little about Constitution

KD Suarez
More Filipinos against cha-cha, know little about Constitution
The latest Pulse Asia survey results also reveal opposition to charter change has risen, compared to results of a similar survey in 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the chatter surrounding charter change, many Filipinos have little or no knowledge about the country’s most important set of laws, the results of an independent survey revealed Thursday, October 2.

Seventy percent (70%) of Filipinos have “little or no knowledge” about the Constitution of the Philippines, despite a majority saying they are opposed to changing the country’s basic laws at this time, according to the results of Pulse Asia’s latest “Ulat ng Bayan” survey.

Of those surveyed, Pulse Asia said 24% have “almost none or no knowledge at all” about the Constitution, while 46% admit to know a little about it. Meanwhile, 30% said they have a “great deal” or “sufficient” knowledge of the country’s fundamental laws.

Despite this, 61% of survey respondents say they are aware of the proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution, saying they have read, heard, or watched something about the issue.

Awareness of the issue is highest in Metro Manila and Luzon (70% and 67%, respectively), and among classes ABC (77%), while 39% of the survey respondents said they only knew about the issue when they were asked about it during the survey interview.

Among those who said they are aware of the charter change proposals, 42% say they have sufficient or a great deal of knowledge of the charter itself; 58% said they have “little or no knowledge.”

Opposition to cha-cha rises

The survey showed a majority of respondents (62%) think that the Constitution should not be amended at this time, compared to 20% who agree, and 18% who say they don’t know or cannot state their opinion as of yet.

The sentiment is shared across the geographic areas (Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao), and classes (ABC, D, and E), Pulse Asia said.

Among those aware of charter change proposals, the number becomes higher, at 70%; only 22% of those aware of the issue say the Constitution should be amended now.

Compared to a previous survey on charter change views back in October 2010, those saying the constitution should be amended at the present dropped by 20 percentage points, from 40% in 2010 to 20% now.

Those saying the charter stay as is rose by 6 percentage points, from 56% in 2010, to 62% now.

Majority of respondents also said they are not in favor of two proposed changes – the limiting of Supreme Court powers and foreign ownership of land.

Pulse Asia said 70% of the respondents are not in favor of the proposal to limit the High Court’s powers in relation to reviewing executive decisions, while a higher percentage – 85% – say they do not agree to amending the Constitution to allow foreign individuals or companies to own land.

The Ulat ng Bayan survey, Pulse Asia said, was conducted from September 8-15, via face-to-face interviews, based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above.

During the time of the survey, some of the major news stories in the country were the Makati parking building controversy; the junking of the impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III; the foiled “bombing attempt” at the NAIA terminal 3; and the confirmation of Gen Gregorio Pio Catapang as AFP chief of staff.

Pulse Asia said the survey has an error margin of +/-3%, at 95% confidence level, while the error margin for the geographic areas stand at +/-6%, at 95% confidence level.

“No religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes,” the survey firm said. –

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