Almost half of Filipinos in a survey agreed it was dangerous to publish anything critical of the government, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll showed.
The pollster said it aimed “to assess respondents’ opinions on the state of press freedom in the country.” It noted that World Press Freedom Day was observed on May 3.
The SWS survey showed that 47 percent of Filipinos believed it was dangerous to print or broadcast content critical of the current Marcos administration, even if it was the truth.
Some 27 percent of Filipinos were undecided, while 26 percent disagreed with the statement.
“The resulting net agreement score of +20, classified by SWS as moderate, is 4 points below the moderate +24 in December 2021,” the SWS said.
The highest number of respondents who said it was still dangerous to publish content critical of the administration came from Metro Manila, followed by the Visayas, Luzon, and Mindanao.
However, net agreement scores in Metro Manila and Visayas fell in the recent survey compared to the figures recorded in December 2021, during the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.
In Metro Manila, the number of people who said it was dangerous to publish anti-administration content fell to +28 from +41 in December 2021, while the number in Visayas also decreased to +23 from +36.
SWS conducted the survey from Dec. 10 to 14, 2022, using in-person interviews for 1,200 adults nationwide: 300 each from Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The pollster also clarified that the survey was non-commissioned, and was only done on SWS’ own initiative and released as a public service.
The Philippines climbed up 15 spots in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index released by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), ranking 132nd out of 180 countries.