Support to FAB high among Davao’s low income earners – survey

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 March) – Support to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Davao City is high among the city’s low income earners, the Institute of Popular Opinion (IPO) of the University of Mindanao said Monday.

Citing a survey it conducted from January 26 to February 7 with 1,200 respondents from the city’s three districts, the IPO said that those who are underemployed and unemployed had high hopes on the economic promise of the FAB.

“The peace believers in the city were mostly single young men who are underemployed and had acquired some formal education but were not able to earn a degree,” Rey Cuizon, IPO specialist on culture and peace said in a media forum here.

He said the believers of the peace process are the poor, adding, “Perhaps this hope is rooted in their conviction that there would never be development if there is no peace.”

Adrian Tamayo, IPO specialist on politics and governance, said that of the total respondents, 60 to 70 percent came from the low income class, 10 to 20 percent from the middle income class and eight to 10 percent from the high income class.

Cuizon and Tamayo admitted the survey had limitations. For one, they said, the respondents’ religions and the organizations they support were not indicated.

But they said the survey aimed to gather opinions on a political question, and to treat the respondents equally as Dabawenyos.

Tamayo explained that the survey gathered the people’s opinion on how the government and the MILF reached the FAB and not on the contents of the agreement itself.

The survey found that “the highly educated are doubtful of the agreement” as only 11 out of 100 respondents were supportive of it.

Fifty percent of respondents who reached secondary education are much supportive of the FAB, the results showed.

Tamayo cited that during the survey, a respondent was asked if s/he knew about the FAB, but was no longer asked where s/he got the information if s/he did not know about it.

The respondents had hopes that the framework agreement will pave the way for a lasting peace in Mindanao, adding that their support was due to its economic promise, according to the results.

Tamayo said the results showed that the people believed the two parties were sincere in achieving peace with a final peace agreement.

Both specialists said they will conduct another survey in areas outside the city where people are directly affected by the FAB and the entire peace process.

Davao City is not among areas proposed to be part of the territory of the Bangsamoro, the new autonomous political entity that would be set up.  (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)