A Pulse Asia survey shows that 84% of Filipinos believe that the Marcos administration should work with the United States to strengthen security cooperation to defend our national sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.
Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes released the survey results on Thursday during a forum organized by Stratbase ADR Institute and the United States Embassy. The survey was conducted on November 27 to December 1, 2022 and was commissioned by Stratbase.
Aside from the US, 52% of Filipinos also believe that the Marcos administration should also work with Japan, with 25% siding with Australia, 24% with the United Kingdom, and 23% with South Korea.
Meanwhile, 20% of respondents said that they want the Marcos administration to work with China to strengthen security cooperation to defend our national sovereignty.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. returned Thursday from a 3- day state visit to China that is expected to address security issues and bolster trade and investment ties.
In his speech during the forum, Stratbase President Professor Dindo Manhit recalled that a June 2022 commissioned survey likewise showed that the top three countries most trusted by Filipinos for the Philippine government to work closely with include the United States, Australia, and Japan.
“This indicates that the Philippines must continue to work with its existing allies and forge relationships with new ones in order to competitively and efficiently address issues and incidents in the West Philippine Sea. Working with like-minded states, such as the United States, Australia, and Japan, and elevating these ties to strategic partnerships reaffirm the country’s 2016 Arbitral win and contribute to the security and stability in the region,” Professor Manhit said.
“Working with friends, allies, and partners as a strategy allows the Philippines to practice an independent foreign policy based on the public’s interests,” he added.
Manhit also pointed out that President Marcos Jr. has repeatedly expressed his intent to pursue an independent foreign policy with national interests as the primordial guide.
“As long as his administration meets that requirement, the country’s strategic partnerships and alliances should not be influenced by pressure and interference from other states. At the Stratbase ADR Institute, we firmly believe that this is shaped by the willingness of states to engage in multilateral cooperation to collectively respond to existing and future challenges that may evolve in 2023,” he said.
The Pulse Asia survey also shows that about 80% of Filipinos believe that to effectively address issues in the West Philippine Sea, the Marcos administration should prioritize strengthening the military capability of the Philippines, especially the Navy and the Coast Guard, and conduct joint maritime patrols and military exercises with allied countries.
The same survey also shows that 53% of Filipinos believe that the protection of marine resources and environment in Philippine territory is the most important reason to strengthen our ability to defend and protect our seas, while 22% think the most important reason is the protection of rights of peoples and communities in the coastal areas.
Meanwhile, 14% of Filipinos believe in stopping China’s incursions in Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone or EEZ.