MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos remain "neutral" on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Friday, July 20.
The proposed law became known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law after both houses reconciled their versions and signed it on July 18. The survey was done from June 27 to 30.
In its second quarter survey, the SWS said 31% agree and 28% disagree that Congress should pass the BBL. Meanwhile, 40% of respondents were undecided on the issue.
This results to a net agreement score of +3, which the SWS classifies as "neutral." It is one point higher than the +2 net agreement score recorded in the March 2018 survey.
There is a "moderate" net agreement of +18 in Metro Manila, a "neutral" +9 in the balance of Luzon, and a "poor" -16 score in Visayas.
SWS said the score in Mindanao is at a "neutral" -2, but noted that "only about 24% of the population of Mindanao are Muslims, who do indeed agree that the bill should be passed."
Among Muslims, the net agreement is at an "extremely strong" +55, compared to Catholics (neutral at -2) and other Christians (neutral at -2) who form 90% of the survey sample. Meanwhile, the score is a moderate +27 among Iglesia ni Cristo followers.
Respondents who are college-educated were moderately positive about the BBL's passage (44% agree and 25% disagree, for a +19 net score).
Nonetheless, SWS said Filipinos tend to believe that the BBL's passage will help bring peace in Mindanao, with a "moderate" net score of +13 (37% agree, 24% disagree).
The net scores are a moderate +29 in Metro Manila and +19 in the rest of Luzon, and a neutral -4 in Visayas and +7 in Mindanao.
Both houses of Congress agreed to a final version of the proposed Bangsamoro law on Wednesday, July 18, days before the 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte on Monday, July 23.
The SWS survey was conducted before the bicameral conference committee meetings that ironed out the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill.
The June 2018 SWS survey had 1,200 respondents, and an error margin of ±3% nationwide, and ±6% for Metro Manila, the balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. – Rappler.com
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.