The latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed on Tuesday, November 20, that among five specific countries, Filipinos’ public trust rating fared highest for the United States and lowest for China.
The public trust rating for the five countries namely the U.S., China, Japan, Malaysia and Israel were all measured in September. A “very good” rating was received for the U.S., “moderate” for Japan, Malaysia and Israel and “poor” for China.
The highest net trust rating was at +59 for the U.S. It decreased by six points from a +65 score in June. Japan now had a +28, a leap from its previous -35. Malaysia and Israel registered +15 and +13, respectively, while China posted a net trust score of -16.
The results of a poor public trust rating to China was attributed to the issues that tied the two countries. A lot of people who were aware of the rift regarding the West Philippine Sea had a higher distrust for China.
“Distrust in China was higher among those who already knew that the Philippines is unable to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the West Philippine Sea before the survey, compared to the neutral -3 among those who just learned about it,” SWS said as reported by The Philippine Star.
Issues including Chinese coast guard personnel taking away the catch of Filipino fishermen, Beijing transforming Manila-claimed features in the Spratly Islands into military outposts and other territorial disputes were among the factors that possibly influenced such results.
Palace questions survey’s timing
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the release of the SWS timing seemed off considering that it was on the same day as the first official state visit of Chinese President Xi Jing Ping.
“We find the timing of the release of the results of the survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) last September 15-23 suspect considering that such was made public on the day of Chinese President Xi Jing Ping’s first state visit to the Philippines,” Panelo said as reported by Rappler.
“Time adds credence to the commonly-held belief that polling firms could be wittingly or unwittingly used for partisan purposes,” the spokesperson added.
Panelo also criticized the one question that he perceived as slanted, giving the notion that the government is not fighting for its claim in the ruling regarding the West Philippine Sea issue.
“Pabayaan na lang ang Tsina na panatilihin ang mga imprastraktura at militar sa mga inaangking mga teritoryo – ay tama o hindi na pamamaraan na gawin ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas upang malutas ang pagtatalo ng Pilipinas at Tsina tungkol sa West Philippine Sea (Leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the claimed territories – right or not right for the Philippine government to do in resolving the conflict between the Philippines and China about the West Philippine Sea),” the question stated.
However, the polling firm stood by their objectivity claiming that they are unbiased in their intentions and that what they do is purely out of public service.
“The Social Weather Survey items on people’s opinion about the West Philippine Sea conflict were non-commissioned. They were included on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service,” the survey firm said.
SWS considers net trust ratings of +70 and above as “excellent,” +50 to +69 “very good,” +30 to +49 “good,” +10 to +19 “moderate,” +9 to -9 “neutral,” -10 to -29 “poor,” -30 to -49 “bad,” -50 to -69 “very bad,” and -70 and below “execrable.”
The survey was conducted from September 15 to 23 using face-to-face interviews among 1,500 adults nationwide with sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages. (AJPress)