SWS: Filipinos ‘neutral’ about effects
of martial law in Mindanao on PH economy

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FILIPINOS do not expect any change in the economy despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao at the moment but think that it may get worse, according to a Social Weather Station (SWS) survey.

The poll on 1,200 adults nationwide from June 23 to 26 showed that 43 percent were “neutral” about the effects of martial law in Mindanao on the general economy, although that neutrality bordered on the “negative”.

This is evident in the 33 percent who expect the economy to get worse compared to the 24 percent who believe that it will get better, the SWS said.

The pollster said these figures result in a -9 national balance of opinion, which is “on the lower borderline of what SWS classifies as neutral.”


Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, after the Islamic State-linked Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City that left hundreds dead and thousands of families displaced.

According to SWS, there were “unfavorable opinions” in the rest of Luzon and Visayas but were countered by neutral opinions in Mindanao and Metro Manila.

In the Visayas, it is net -13 (24 percent better versus 37 percent worse).

Double-digit negative balances are classified by SWS as “moderately unfavorable.”

Meanwhile, in Mindanao, the balance of opinion is zero or neutral (27 percent better versus 27 percent worse).

In Metro Manila, the balance of opinion is net -7 (23 percent better and 29 percent worse), which is also neutral.

SWS said the balance was similar to net -22 (20 percent better versus 42 percent worse) among the 11 percent who said Duterte should have declared martial law only in Marawi City and nearby provinces.

On the other hand, the balance of opinion is a neutral +1 (28 percent better versus 27 percent worse) among the small majority with 57 percent saying it was right that martial law was declared for all of Mindanao.

“Thus, opinions are clearly unfavorable among the large minority 40 percent wanting a more limited geographic scope for Martial Law,” SWS said.

The second quarter survey, first published by BusinessWorld, has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6 points each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas.

In another release earlier this July, SWS said more Filipinos supported  Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao. The survey was also conducted from June 23 to 26 with the same set of respondents.

In a joint session on Saturday, Congress voted to extend martial law until December 31 as security forces struggled to flush out the Islamist extremists with daily airstrikes and combat operations.

As of July 25, the death toll from the Marawi siege has risen to 616 — 460 terrorists, 111 government troops, and 45 civilians.

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