Seven out of 10 Filipinos believe the Philippine government must assert its rights over the disputed West Philippine Sea islands as backed by the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) national mobile phone survey said on Tuesday.
Sponsored by the Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute, the survey of July 2020, showed that 45% of those who said so have strongly agreed, while 15% somewhat agreed.
Meanwhile, 13% disagreed and 15% were undecided.
The net agreement score was highest in Metro Manila (+65), followed by the Visayas (+59), Balance Luzon (+57), and Mindanao (+52).
Though the net agreement score nationwide was tagged “extremely strong” at +57, a significant decrease was observed compared to +82 score in June 2019.
The survey said 82% of the respondents agreed that the Philippines must form alliances with other democratic countries which could help in defending its territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea.
This score is lower by 2% compared to June last year.
On the other hand, 9% disagreed while 8% were undecided on the issue.
The survey was conducted from July 3 to 6, among 1,555 adult Filipinos nationwide. It has sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, and ±5 for Balance Luzon, ±5% for Visayas, and ±5% for Mindanao.
On Sunday, the Philippines urged China to comply with the 2016 arbitral ruling which invalidated its massive claim over the resource-rich South China Sea.
However, China called the four-year-old decision “illegal and invalid.”
The United States, on the other hand, expressed solidarity with Southeast Asian nations who are involved with territorial disputes with the Asian superpower./Stacy Ang