Asia Foundation and SWS Launch Filipino Public Opinion on the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Despite Nationwide Public Skepticism About BBL, Filipinos in the Bangsamoro Remain Hopeful


Manila, August 13, 2015 — Social Weather Stations (SWS) today launched its publication with key findings featured here – “Filipino Public Opinion on the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the Mamasapano Incident.” Supported by The Asia Foundation, the publication is based on nationwide surveys in March and June 2015, and a special survey of the Bangsamoro core territory and nearby areas conducted in February.

“After the tragic Mamasapano Incident in January 2015, SWS did a special survey in the Core Territories and Nearby Areas of the Bangsamoro in February, and then two nationwide surveys in March and June, of people’s opinions about the peace process and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law. The three surveys are integrated in this report, with support from The Asia Foundation, in hope of facilitating the achievement of lasting peace in Mindanao,” stated Dr. Mahar Mangahas, president of the Social Weather Stations.

The survey found that national opinion, which had been generally favorable to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, was negative about the Bangsamoro Basic Law in the aftermath of the tragic incident in Mamasapano. However, respondents from the Bangsamoro core territories, who would be directly affected by the Basic Law, still approved of it by margins that ranged from 18 (in Sulu) to 91 percent (in the 39 barangays of North Cotabato included in the core territory of the Bangsamoro). The citizens in the Bangsamoro core territories also agreed with various specific provisions of the law.

Despite a negative attitude towards the Bangsamoro Basic Law, 42 percent of Filipino citizens in March report much or moderate benefit from peace talks with the MILF (as against only 35 percent who felt there was no benefit at all). Additionally, through fifteen years of SWS surveys conducted since 1999, Filipinos nationwide consider the peaceful negotiations as the most effective means in dealing with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“As the Bangsamoro Basic Law is being considered in Congress, information on what citizens think should be taken into account,” said Steven Rood, Philippine Country Representative for The Asia Foundation. “For instance, we see that all parts of the proposed coverage area of the Bangsamoro approve of the draft law and some of its important features.”

The launch of the publication “Filipino Public Opinion on the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the Mamasapano Incident” was held in Philippine Social Science Center in Quezon City.

Survey Background

The March and June 2015 surveys were part of the 2015 quarterly SWS nationwide surveys conducted from March 20-23 and June 5-8, 2015, respectively, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao (sampling error margins of 3% for national percentages, and 6% each for Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao).

The special Mindanao survey was conducted from February 22 to March 1, 2015, through face-to-face interviews of 1900 adults in selected areas in Mindanao. The special survey was conducted in the core territory of the Bangsamoro (Central Mindanao and Sulu Archipelago), as specified in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, was well as in nearby areas in Zamboanga City, and in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato.

SWS employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data-processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations.

SWS was established in August 1985 as a private non-stock, nonprofit social research institution. It is the Philippine’s leading survey research institute on Quality of Life, Public Opinion, and Governance. Its members, called Fellows, are social scientists in economics, political science, sociology, statistics, market research, and other fields. Find out more about the Social Weather Surveys and how SWS operates at

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work in the Philippines.

For media inquiries, please visit the Press Room. Engage with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Related locations: Philippines
Related topics: Bangsamoro

Read our latest news, or insights from our blog.

Media contacts

Amy Ovalle, Vice President, Global Communications
[email protected]

Eelynn Sim, Director, Media & Strategy
[email protected]

The Latest Across Asia

Change Starts Here Campaign Impact

Thank you for powering The Asia Foundation’s mission to improve lives and expand opportunities.