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40% of Filipinos don't see improvement in Muslims' lot.

Two in five Filipinos believed there had not been much improvement in the position of Muslims in the country, with Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon registering the strongest agreement at +20 percent, and Mindanao the least agreement at +14.

Not surprisingly, across religions, Muslims registered the strongest agreement to the statement at 51 percent, and Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) the least agreement, at -20 percent.

The results were indicated in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted nationwide from June 5 to 8 this year. The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

To the statement, In the past few years, there has not been much real improvement in the position of Muslims in this country, 43 percent of respondents agreed; 25 percent disagreed and 30 percent were undecided. The responses yielded a moderate agreement rating (agree minus disagree) of +18 percent.

Net agreement was generally moderate across geographic areas but highest at +20 both in Metro Manila (45 percent agree minus 25 percent disagree), and the rest of Luzon (43 percent agree minus 23 percent disagree).

Net agreement was +17 in the Visayas (43 percent agree minus 26 percent disagree), and +14 percent in Mindanao (44 percent agree minus 29 percent disagree, correctly rounded).

By religion, net agreement was very strong among Muslims at +51 percent (64 percent agree minus 13 percent disagree); strong among other Christians at +31 (50 percent agree minus 19 percent disagree); moderate among Catholics at +16 (42 percent agree minus 26 percent disagree) and poor among members of INC at -20 percent (24 percent agree and 44 percent disagree).

To the statement, We should make every possible effort to improve the position of Muslims even if it means giving them preferential treatment, 47 percent agreed, while 28 percent disagreed; 24 percent were undecided.

Preferential treatment

This resulted in a net agreement score of moderate at +18 percent (correctly rounded), 3 points down from the +21 percent (48 percent agree minus 27 percent disagree) in March 2014, the first time SWS conducted the same survey.

The rest of Luzon moderately agreed with the statement of giving preferential treatment to Muslims at +23 percent (48 percent agree minus 25 percent disagree), while Metro Manila registered a +19 percent agreement (46 percent agree minus 27 percent disagree). Mindanao had a +17 percent agreement (48 percent agree minus 31 percent disagree), while the Visayas registered a neutral +8 percent rating (43 percent agree minus 35 percent disagree).

By religion, net agreement among Muslims on giving preferential treatment was very strong at +82 percent (86 percent agree minus 5 percent disagree, correctly rounded), while it was moderate among other Christians +17 percent (47 agree minus 30 percent disagree). It was +15 among Catholics (44 percent agree minus 29 percent disagree), and +10 among INC members (43 percent agree minus 33 percent disagree).

SWS considers a net agreement rating of +50 and above as very strong; +30 to +49 strong; +10 to +29 moderate; +9 to -9 neutral; -10 to -29 poor; -30 to -49 weak; and -50 and below very weak.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jul 18, 2015
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