According to a Social Weather Stations survey released Wednesday, three in five Filipinos believe that the United States’ defense commitment to the Philippines is strong.
The survey showed 61 percent believe the U.S. will defend the country, with 31 percent answering strongly believe, and 30 percent somewhat believe. Meanwhile, 9 percent said they do not believe U.S.’ commitment, and 30 percent were undecided.
It also showed that 53 percent only learned about the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the two countries when the survey was conducted. The remaining 47 percent were aware of such agreement, and among them, 80 percent said they believe the US will defend the Philippines if there was an invasion.
Awareness of Mutual Defense Treaty
The highest number of those aware of the MDT was recorded in Metro Manila with 58 percent. It was followed by balance Luzon with 53 percent. Visayas had 41 percent, while Mindanao had 31 percent.
55 percent were aware of the treaty in urban areas, while 38 percent were aware in rural areas.
When it came to socioeconomic classes, 51 percent of class ABC were aware of the treaty while class D had 49 percent and class E had 34 percent.
Among elementary graduates, awareness of the treaty was recorded at 67 percent; while 53 percent was recorded among non-elementary graduates who were aware.
The survey also registered a higher awareness of the MDT among people who were aware of the West Philippine Sea dispute, with 54 percent.
“The survey also found that previous awareness about the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty was highest among those with extensive knowledge about the PH-China dispute in the West Philippine Sea (73 percent),” SWS said.
Among those aware of the maritime dispute, 67 percent believe that the U.S. will defend the Philippines should an invasion happen.
The survey was conducted from June 27 to 30. It employed face-to-face interviews among 1,200 adults nationwide, and had a sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“The Social Weather Survey items on people’s opinion about the PH-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty were non-commissioned. They were included on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service,” SWS said.