While he acknowledged the need to educate Filipinos about the move to federalize the republic, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez expressed dissatisfaction about the wording of the questions asked of respondents by Pulse Asia after its survey showed more Filipinos were against Charter change.
According to Alvarez, if many Filipinos do not know much about federalism, then the survey should have also asked: “Do you know what is a unitary system of government?”
“Why did the survey only focus on the federal system? If the respondents were also asked about a unitary system of government, many more would have answered that they do not understand or know little about it all,” he said.
The House leader stressed that while the Duterte administration respects the survey result showing that most Filipinos were more concerned with higher pay for workers, lower prices of basic goods and employment opportunities and that government is already addressing these three major concerns, “we need to prepare for the future.”
Alvarez said it was clear from the survey that Filipinos need to be educated about Charter change and federalism.
“The survey finding that 3 out of every 4 Filipinos, or 75 percent, have little/almost none/no knowledge at all about the 1987 Philippine Constitution tells us very clearly that we must come together and intensify the information, education and communication campaigns throughout the country to tell our people that we must revise the three-decade-old Constitution to make it responsive to changing times,” he said.
Pulse Asia found that 64 percent of Filipinos were opposed to Charter change compared to only 44 percent two years ago.
The survey, conducted last March 23 to 28, showed that public awareness of Charter change has risen from 41 percent in July 2016 to 49 percent in March this year.
Public support to amend the Constitution dropped 14 percentage points from 37 percent in July 2016 to only 23 percent in March 2018.