Pinoys believe observers to deter poll violence
By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Eight out of 10 Filipinos believe that the presence of independent observers in the May 10 polls would help deter or reduce election violence, a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
The SWS special pre-election survey, conducted from Feb. 24 to 28, found 80 percent of registered voters saying they were confident that independent observers in the upcoming elections would help “a lot/some” to deter or reduce election-related violence.
Sixteen percent said their presence would help deter or reduce election-related violence “a little” and four percent said “none at all.”
The expectation that independent observers would help “a lot/some” in deterring election-related violence is higher among those previously aware of them (88 percent) than those who just heard about them (72 percent).
It is also slightly higher in balance Luzon (83 percent), than in Mindanao (79 percent), Metro Manila (77 percent) and the Visayas (75 percent).
The survey likewise found nearly five in 10 Filipinos (47 percent) saying they are aware of independent election observers and that three of four (74 percent) believe their presence adds confidence that the elections would be clean and honest.
Forty-seven percent are previously aware that there will be independent election observers in the May 10 elections, while a slightly bigger 53 percent have only heard about this.
About three in five (59 percent) in Metro Manila are aware that there will be independent observers in the May 10 polls, the highest across all four areas. It is 50 percent in the Visayas, 47 percent in Mindanao, and 42 percent in balance Luzon.
The SWS said awareness of election observers in the May 10 elections is higher among the middle to upper classes and the more educated.
By class, 56 percent of classes ABC are aware that there will be independent observers, higher compared to 48 percent in class D and 41 percent in class E.
By education, 64 percent of college graduates are aware that there will be independent observers, much higher than among high school graduates (48 percent), elementary graduates (41 percent) and non-elementary graduates (38 percent).
The survey likewise revealed that three out of four (74 percent) registered voters say the presence of independent observers will “greatly add/somewhat” add to their confidence that the elections will be clean and honest.
Twenty percent say their presence adds only “a little confidence” and six percent say it “will not add confidence.”
The expectation that independent observers will add to voters’ confidence in clean and honest elections is higher among those previously aware that there will be independent observers in the elections (85 percent) than those who just heard about it (66 percent).
Those who say independent observers will add to voters’ confidence that the May 2010 elections would be clean and honest is high across all areas: 76 percent in balance Luzon, 75 percent in Mindanao, 74 percent in Metro Manila, and 71 percent in the Visayas.
By education, the view that the presence of independent observers will add to voters’ confidence that the elections would be clean and honest is slightly higher among those with more education.
It is 81 percent among college graduates, 74 percent among high school graduates, 74 percent among elementary graduates, and 71 percent among non-elementary graduates.
67 percent prefer local observers
The survey, meanwhile, revealed that 67 percent of Filipinos prefer local observers rather than foreign observers.
One-fourth (24 percent) prefer that they be both Filipino and foreign, and 11 percent prefer that they be foreign.
Seventy-one percent in the Visayas prefer Filipino observers for the May 10 elections, the highest across all areas. Preference for Filipino observers is 66 percent in balance Luzon, 62 percent in Metro Manila, and 57 percent in Mindanao.
Eighteen percent in Mindanao prefer foreign independent observers in the elections, higher compared to about a tenth in the Visayas (10 percent), Metro Manila (eight percent) and balance Luzon (eight percent) who also prefer foreign observers.
The survey used face-to-face interviews of 2,100 registered voters, divided into random samples of 300 in Metro Manila and 600 each in balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
It has sampling error margins of plus or minus 2.2 percent for national percentages, plus or minus six percent for Metro Manila, and plus or minus four percent for balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.