WORKERS’ pay, inflation, employment, and the country’s controversial relations with China are the major issues that Filipinos want President Rodrigo R. Duterte to tackle in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, according to Pulse Asia’s June 2019 Ulat ng Bayan Survey which was released on Friday.

The Pulse Asia poll involved 1,200 adults nationwide, who were interviewed face to face between June 24 to 30. The survey has an error margin of ± 2.8 percent.

Pulse Asia reported that the issues its respondents would most like the President to mention during the SONA are those related to increasing the pay of workers (17.1%), reducing the prices of basic goods (17.1%), and creating more jobs or livelihood opportunities (15.2%).

Meanwhile, 9.2% of respondents want want issues surrounding relations between the Philippines and China tackled during the SONA: 6.1% of them said that Mr. Duterte should assert Philippine sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea while 3.1% said he should explain his administration’s policy in relation to China.

The survey was conducted two weeks after the June 9 ramming incident involving a Filipino fishing boat and a Chinese vessel at the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

The survey also showed that a majority of Filipino adults (75%) were aware of Mr. Duterte’s previous SONAs.

By socio-economic classes, Pulse Asia said the most common cited issue of those in Class ABC concerned the country’s relations with China (21.3%).

Class D’s leading concerts were workers’ pay (18.8%), inflation (16.4%), employment (15.2%), and Philippine-China relations (9.7%), it noted.

Class E would most like Mr. Duterte to discuss inflation (20.8%), creating more jobs or livelihood opportunities (16.5%), fighting illegal drugs (10.3%), and increasing their wages (9.3%). — Arjay L. Balinbin