By Nat Mariano
EIGHT out of 10 Filipinos are disappointed by how the government manages the country’s territorial dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea, the latest Social Weather Stations reported.
The survey of 1,200 adults interviewed from June 27 to 30 showed that 81 percent said it was not right for the administration “to leave China alone with its infrastructure and military presence in the claimed territories.”
Eighty percent also believed the country should improve its defense in the disputed territories and strengthen its military capabilities, particularly in the Navy.
Seventy-four percent of those polled answered it would be right for the government to pursue a peaceful diplomatic negotiation with the Asian giant by bringing the territorial dispute to international organizations such as the United Nations or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Some 68 percent said the Philippines should seek the help of a third-party country to intercede.
Some 73 percent of the respondents said direct and bilateral negotiations with China were necessary.
Most people mistrusted China, with a trust rating of -35 points, even though they gave President Rodrigo Duterte high trust ratings.
Most Filipinos or 81 percent knew about the sea dispute before the survey while the remaining 19 percent only learned about the issue as the survey was conducted.
The results of the SWS survey came days after the proliferation of satirical banners in parts of Metro Manila, implying the Philippines has become a province of China.
Malacañang had earlier reassured the public that the administration remains firm about upholding the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights over the disputed waters.
The June 2018 Social Weather Survey was conducted from June 27-30, 2018 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide. It has sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages, and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.