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MANILA, Philippines – As the international community marked World Press Freedom day recently, here in the Philippines about 4 out of 10 Filipinos, or 47%, feel it is still dangerous to publish critical things about the administration, even if it is the truth.
This was the result of a national survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) last December 10-14, 2022 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above). The survey’s margins of error are ±2.8% for national percentages, ±5.7% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
SWS said it regularly did temperature checks of gut issues like this as “part of its monitoring of Filipinos’ quality of life..(it) assesses respondents’ opinions on the state of press freedom in the country.”
In that nationwide survey the respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “It is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth.”
In Filipino, the SWS survey statement was: Mapanganib na mag-lathala/mag-print o mag-broadcast ng anumang kritikal sa administrasyon, kahit na ito ay ang katotohanan.”
The Fourth Quarter 2022 Social Weather Survey found 47% of adult Filipinos agreeing (19% strongly agree, 28% somewhat agree), 27% undecided, and 26% disagreeing.
SWS said that these data resulted in a net agreement score of +20 (percent agree minus percent disagree, correctly rounded). Based on SWS terminology this score was classified as “moderate.” It was also is 4 points below the moderate +24 (46% agree, 22% disagree) rating in December 2021.
In previous surveys, the recent highest net agreement scores to this statement were the “strong” +49 in November 2020 and the “strong” +31 in June 2019. Both surveys were conducted during the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte and were also before the COVID lockdowns.
The latest 4Q 2022 SWS survey showed that Metro Manila posted the highest net agreement rating to the statement of the danger of being critical to the administration with a score of +28. This was followed by the Visayas (+23), Balance Luzon (+21), and Mindanao (+13).
SWS said that this nationwide survey of press freedom was non-commissioned. “They were done on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service,” it added. – Rappler.com