Only 2 in 10 Filipinos believe China has good intentions for PH

MANILA, Philippines – Only two in 10 Filipinos believe that China has good intentions for the Philippines, according to the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Friday, April 5.

The survey – held on December 16 to 18, 2018, but only posted on the SWS website nearly 4 months later – asked the respondents whether they agreed with the statement, "Most of what the Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines is good for the Filipinos."

Forty-four percent disagreed with the statement and 27% agreed, for a net agreement score of -17 – which SWS classifies as "moderately weak."  SWS said 29% were undecided.


Compared to a survey done in September 1993, net agreement on the statement went up 11 points, from -28 in September 1993 to -17 in December 2018.

At the same time, however, SWS noted that those who strongly disagreed with the statement rose by 17 points – from 5% in 1993 to 22% in 2018 – while those who somewhat disagreed fell from 39% to 22%.

The percentage of undecided fell from 35% in September 1993 to to 29% in December 2018.

Public trust in China

The December 2018 survey also looked into Filipinos' trust in China. The survey found a negative net agreement among those who distrust China when it came to the statement that most of what the Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines is good for Filipinos.

Those with much trust in China had a net agreement score of neutral +8 (39% agree, 31% disagree), while those undecided about their trust in China had a net score of -12 or moderately weak (23% agree, 35% disagree).

Those who held little trust in China was at very weak -40 (19% agree, 60% disagree, correctly rounded)


The Fourth Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey was held a month after the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Philippines on November 19. During this time, Philippine and Chinese officials signed a number of agreements. (READ: 'A friend in need:' China's promises to the Philippines)

Among the agreements is the loan deal on the Kaliwa Dam project, which was only discussed at length months after the survey in March, when parts of Metro Manila and Rizal experienced a water shortage.  (DOCUMENTS: PH-China deals signed during Xi Jinping visit)

The survey was conducted among 1,440 adult respondents – 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

There were sampling error margins of ±2.6% for national percentages, and ±5% each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao).

The exact question asked was “Ngayon po, mayroon ako ritong mga statements o pangungusap na maaaring maglarawan sa nararamdaman o naiisip ng mga tao ngayon. Pakisabi po kung kayo ay sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon sa mga statements o pangungusap na ito. Pakilagay lang po ang kard na may pangungusap sa naaangkop na lugar sa rating board na ito. (Lubos na sumasang-ayon, Medyo sumasang-ayon, Hindi tiyak kung sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon, Medyo hindi sumasang-ayon, o Lubos na hindi sumasang-ayon) 

[I have here some statements which may reflect how people feel or think about certain matters at present.  Please tell me if you agree or disagree with these statements.  You may indicate your answers by placing the card with the statement in the appropriate place on this rating board. (Strongly agree, Somewhat agree, Undecided if agree or disagree, Somewhat disagree, or Strongly disagree)]:”

Q164. “Karamihan sa mga nais mangyari ng gobyernong Tsina dito sa Pilipinas ay nakabubuti sa mga Pilipino [Most of what the Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines is good for the Filipinos].” –