MAJORITY OF Filipinos, at 61%, believe that the United States will defend the Philippines in case of an invasion by another country, according to the Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
At the same time, less than half or only 47% of the 1,200 adult respondents polled by the SWS from June 27-30 this year were aware of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the US and the Philippines even before the survey was conducted.
The SWS report said 53% of the respondents learned about the treaty only during the interview.
“Belief in the US defense commitment is stronger among those previously aware of the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty,” the report also said, noting that “80% believe (48% strongly believe, 32% somewhat believe) that the US will defend the Philippines in case of an invasion.”
As for those who became aware of the PH-US Mutual Defense on account of the survey, only 45% believe (17% strongly believe, 28% somewhat believe) in the US defense commitment.
The survey results also showed that there is higher awareness of the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty among those previously aware of the PH-China dispute in the West Philippine Sea, which is “at 54%, compared to those who learned about the PH-China dispute only during the interview, at 14%.”
“The proportion of those who believe that the US will defend the Philippines in case of an invasion by another country was higher among those previously aware of the PH-China dispute in the West Philippine Sea, at 67% (35% strongly believe, 32% somewhat believe), compared to those who became aware of the PH-China dispute only during the survey, at 36% (15% strongly believe, 21% somewhat believe),” the report added.
Those with extensive knowledge about the PH-China sea dispute, at 82%, have higher belief in the US defense commitment, “compared to those with adequate knowledge (40%), only a little knowledge (49%), and very little knowledge (36%),” the SWS said.
The report said the awareness of the mutual defense treaty with the US is highest in Metro Manila (58%), urban areas (55%), among the upper classes (51%), and among the college graduates (67%).
Meanwhile, the belief in the US defense commitment is strongest in Balance Luzon (70%) and urban areas (66%).
“It hardly varied by class, ranging from 60% to 65%, and it was slightly higher among elementary graduates and above, ranging from 61% to 69%, compared to non-elementary graduates at 53%,” the SWS also said. — Arjay L. Balinbin