By Dane Angelo M. Enerio
FILIPINOS’s preference for democracy over other forms of governments remained steady along with their satisfaction with the way democracy works, according to the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The First Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey found Filipino adults’ preference for democracy at 60%, a mere dip from the 61% in June 2017.
Satisfaction with the way democracy works is at 78%, 2 points below the 80% in June 2017, and similar to the 79% in June 2016, SWS said.
“People’s preference between democracy and authoritarianism is a different issue from the degree of satisfaction with how democracy works, and is probed by a separate question,” the polling group also noted.
For the preference rating, 19% said “under some circumstances, an authoritarian government can be preferable to a democratic one” while 21% said “it does not matter whether we have a democratic or a non-democratic regime.”
The 19% “has been steady” since Sept. 2016, while the 21% “barely changed” from June 2017.
The proportion of adult Filipinos saying “democracy is always preferable to any other kind of government” hardly moved from 61% in June 2017.
The survey said further: “Satisfaction with the way democracy works has been above 60% since June 2010, ranging from 64% to 86%. In contrast, it exceeded 50% in only 2 out of 31 surveys from Oct. 1999 to June 2009.”
Also according to the survey, “the question on ‘satisfaction in the way democracy works’ originated in the Eurobarometer surveys, and is also in standard use in Latin American and Asian barometer projects.”
SWS cited the June 2016 Latinobarómetro survey of 18 Latin American countries, showing an average 34% of Latin Americans are satisfied with the way democracy works in their country. This has been below 40% since 2011, after the record-high 44% in 2009 and 2010. It ranged from 25% to 41% from 1996 to 2008, SWS said.

On the other hand, the Nov. 2017 Eurobarometer survey of 28 European Union Member States showed an average of 57% of Europeans satisfied with the way democracy works in their country.
“It has been 50% and above since mid-2014, similar to 2006 to early 2012 when it ranged from 50% to 58%. It ranged from 40% to 49% in 1995-2005, and from 46% to 49% in late 2012 and 2013,” SWS said.
The noncommissioned survey was conducted nationwide from March 23 to 27 using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults 18 years old and above — with 300 participants each from Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for the said areas.
SWS also released a separate survey on Monday which found out that among Filipino adults who used the Internet, 67% considered fake news a “serious” problem on the platform, with 20% “undecided” and 13% saying it was “not serious.” This yielded a net score of +54, which is 11 points below the net +65 in Dec. 2017.
The noncommissioned survey also found that 61% said the government was serious in solving the fake news problem, with 31% undecided, and 8% saying it was not serious, leading to a net score of +53.