SWS: Filipinos neutral on Bangsamoro Basic Law

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 21) — Filipinos are ambivalent to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), an independent pollster's survey released Friday showed.

This comes after House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines, said that President Rodrigo Duterte is set to sign the Bangsamoro Organic Bill into law on Monday during his State of the Nation Address.

Results of the survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) on June 27 to 30 showed that 40 percent of Filipinos are undecided about the law, an 8 percent increase from the 32 percent undecided during its previous survey in March.

It found that 31 percent of Filipinos agree with the need to pass the law, while 28 percent disagree.

"This gives a net agreement score of +3 (% agree minus % disagree), classified by SWS as neutral," the pollster said.

The BBL, now titled the "Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" will need not only the approval of the President but also a plebiscite where the citizens of the covered proposed region will decide whether or not to accept it.

Based on area demographics, the survey found moderate net agreement to pass the law of +18 in Metro Manila, while there is a poor net agreement of -16 in the Visayas region. Both Balance Luzon (or areas of Luzon outside Metro Manila) and Mindanao are neutral about the law, with the former netting +9 and the latter a -2 result.

College educated respondents are more positive about the law, with 44 percent agreeing that it should be passed while 25 percent disagree.

Muslims are extremely in favor of passing the law (+55), while Catholics (-2) and other Christians (-2) are neutral. Iglesia ni Cristo members are moderately in favor of the bill at +27 points, the survey showed.

SWS said Filipinos tend to moderately agree that the law would bring peace in Mindanao, with a moderate net agreement of +13 points.

While still a moderate rating, respondents from Metro Manila are more optimistic that the law will bring peace in the southern region (+29), followed by Balance Luzon (+19).

Visayas has a moderately negative view of the prospects of BBL (-4), while Mindanao is neutral (+7) about its prospects of bringing peace to the region.

The SWS survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults, 300 each from the Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao regions.

The survey has a sampling error margin of  ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% for  Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.