Majority of Filipinos are in favor of the government asserting its territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea, as indicated by the latest Tugon Ng Masa (TNM) survey conducted by OCTA Research.

Conducted from July 22 to 26, the survey revealed that 70 percent of respondents are supportive of resolving the territorial issue through diplomatic and peaceful means.

Regionally, the Visayas showed the highest percentage with 84 percent of respondents advocating for the prioritization of defending territorial rights in the disputed waters, especially during the Marcos administration.

Given that China claims a portion of the West Philippine Sea, with increased intrusions in the area, Mindanao registered 70 percent in favor of asserting territorial rights, while the National Capital Region (NCR) and Balance Luzon were closely tied at 64 percent and 67 percent, respectively.

Across different socioeconomic classes, 80 percent of respondents from Class E expressed a preference for diplomatic and peaceful solutions. In contrast, Class ABC exhibited 58 percent support, while Class D showed 69 percent.

Around 65 percent of respondents emphasized the importance of military action in protecting territorial rights, with the highest percentage, 71 percent, coming from the NCR. Balanced Luzon recorded 69 percent, the Visayas had 68 percent, and Mindanao registered 52 percent in this regard.

Furthermore, 61 percent of respondents expressed a desire to enhance the capabilities of the Philippine military to safeguard the country’s territorial integrity. (ai/mnm)