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Survey | President must prioritize health, economy

The University of Mindanao Institute of Popular Opinion conducted an online survey from March 22 to 30, 2021 targeting Davaoeños from the three districts of the City to know their preferences on the qualities, attributes, and priorities of a Philippine President come May 2022 election. The survey also intended to determine the Dabawenyos’ preference for President and Vice-President. The survey was conducted just weeks after leading polls of the country released preference ratings for the two highest positions of the country and social media was abuzz with photos and posts on organized political rallies. Since the survey was done online as physical contact was not allowed during the time of conduct of the survey, IPO relied heavily on online survey of Facebook users who are residents of Davao City, at least 18 years old, and are targeted for contact within the defined geographical radius. A total of 1,200 respondents were contacted in random and systematically targeted.  

When Dabawenyos were asked on the top qualities a Philippine President should have, they said that they look forward for a President that has priorities for public health (88.4%), sound economic management (88.1%), education (88.1%), agriculture and food security (86.4%), national security (85.4%), and climate change and disaster risk reduction (80.2%). In addition, Dabawenyos also expect that a President is honest and sincere (84.7%), respects the rule of law (82.9%), will continue the good programs of the outgoing administration (80.4%), and respects human rights (80.2%). 


Table 1. Top ten (10) qualities, attributes, and priorities of the next Philippine President as perceived by Dabawenyos

Quality/Attribute/Priority % of Preference
Has priority for public health 88.4%
Knowledgeable in managing the economy 88.1%
Has priority for education 88.1%
Has priority programs for agriculture and food security 86.4%
Knowledgeable with issues concerning national security 85.4%
Honest and sincere 84.7%
Respects the rule of law 82.9%
Continues good programs of the outgoing administration 80.4%
Respects human rights 80.2%
Has priority programs for climate change and disaster risk reduction 80.2%

Note: Multiple responses allowed


On the other hand, the survey revealed that the bottom priorities for a Philippine president include maintaining peaceful negotiations with China (68.3%), reopening tourism (66.8%), promoting federalism (57.4%). Included in the list are attributes or qualities which include being pro-China (8.9%), being pro-United States (9.4%), having cordial relationship with the Church (36.1%), not tolerating red tape (64.6%), not easily bribed by campaign lobbyists (65.6%), has a sense of justice and rules with iron fist (67.3%), and has experience in crafting laws (68.8%). With neither being pro-China nor pro-United States in the bottom spot and registering single-digit preference, this came no surprise after the previous IPO survey stating that 77% of the Dabawenyos believe that the country has to be neutral in external disputes or conflicts, including the Russia-Ukraine tussle just recently.


Table 2. Bottom ten (10) qualities, attributes, and priorities of the next Philippine President as perceived by Dabawenyos

Quality/Attribute/Priority % of Preference
Is pro-China 8.9%
Is pro-United States 9.4%
Has cordial relations with the Church 36.1%
Promotes federalism 57.4%
Does not tolerate red tape 64.6%
Is not easily bribed by campaign lobbyists 65.6%
Has priority for reopening tourism 66.8%
Has a sense of justice and rules with “iron fist” 67.3%
Has the priority to maintain peaceful negotiations with China 68.3%
Has prior experience in crafting laws 68.8%

Note: Multiple responses allowed


After expressing the qualities, attributes and priorities they prefer in a leader, the respondents were asked if elections were held right during the survey, whom will they vote for?  

For President, 68.3% of the Dabawenyos preferred former Senator Bongbong Marcos. Meanwhile, 12.4% of the respondents preferred Vice-President Leni Robredo. Senator Panfilo Lacson garnered 2% of the votes, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso at 1%. Quite a number (15.3%) of the respondents are mum for their Presidential choice as of the moment. For Vice-President, Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte is the preference of 84.9% of the respondents, with Senator Kiko Pangilinan (7.9%) and Senate President Vicente III Sotto(1.5%) in a distant second and third places, respectively. Meanwhile, 5% of the respondents are still undecided on who to vote for the second highest position of the country. IPO maintains, suffice to say, that Marcos and Duterte enjoyed preference of the majority of the Dabawenyos. 


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