MEDIA RELEASE 

(January 19, 2009)

 
FROM: Dr. Ana Maria L. Tabunda Chief Research Fellow Pulse Asia, Inc.

RE:

Pulse Asia’s October 2008 Nationwide Survey on Reproductive Health and the Reproductive Health Bill

Pulse Asia is pleased to share with you some findings from the October 2008 Ulat ng Bayan national survey on Reproductive Health and the Reproductive Health Bill. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information on Filipino perceptions, opinions, sentiments, and attitudes relating to current developments here and abroad. Based on a multistage probability sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above, Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level. Face-to-face field interviews for this project were conducted from October 14 to 27, 2008. (Those interested in further technical details concerning the surveys’ questionnaires and sampling design may request Pulse Asia in writing for fuller details, including copies of the pre-tested questions actually used.)

While the field interviews for this survey were being done, several developments dominated the news headlines. The major developments during this period included the financial crisis in the United States that soon spilled over into other parts of the world including the Philippines, the American presidential elections, the filing of a new impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Supreme Court decision on the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), and the controversial trip to Russia of several police officials that involved a “contingency fund” of P6.9M. Other issues included the deportation from the US of former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante who is widely believed to be the brains behind the fertilizer fund scam, the decline in the price of oil at the world market, the impending increase in the electricity charges of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), and the food scare in China and other parts of the world over the discovery of melamine, an industrial chemical, in milk and other food products. The survey’s sampling design and questionnaire are the full responsibility of Pulse Asia’s pool of academic experts and no religious, political, economic or any other form of partisanship has been allowed to influence the survey design, the findings generated by the actual surveys or the subsequent analyses of survey findings. Pulse Asia undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.

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Pulse Asia’s October 2008 Ulat ng Bayan Survey: Media Release on Reproductive Health and the Reproductive Health Bill 19 January 2009

A big majority of Filipinos (82%) thinks government should not only educate couples regarding modern methods of family planning but also provide them with services and materials on these methods Most Filipinos (82%) think government should teach couples about modern methods of family planning (i.e., both natural and artificial methods) – a view articulated by big to overwhelming majorities (76% to 91%) in all geographic areas and socioeconomic classes. In addition, exactly the same percentage says that it is the government’s duty to provide the people with knowledge, services, and materials on modern methods of family planning (Table 1). This sentiment is expressed by 78% to 87% across all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings. Less than one in ten Filipinos (6% to 8%) disagrees with either view while indecision on these matters is expressed by 10% to 13% of Filipinos (Tables 1 and 2).
Table 1 AGREEMENT / DISAGREEMENT WITH TEST STATEMENT:

“The government should educate couples regarding modern methods of family planning, which includes both natural and artificial family planning methods.”
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent) To each of these statements, would you please say whether you agree or disagree. LOCATION BL VIS MIN 80 11 9 76 16 8 88 6 7 CLASS D E 82 10 8 80 12 8

(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

RP 82 10 8

NCR 89 5 5

ABC 91 6 3

Agree Undecided Disagree

Sa mga pangungusap na ito ay pakisabi lamang kung gaano kayo ay sumasang-ayon o di sumasang-ayon. Q146. “Ang gobyerno ay dapat magturo sa mga mag-asawa ng modernong paraan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya kabilang ang natural at artipisyal na paraan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya.”

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Table 2 AGREEMENT / DISAGREEMENT WITH TEST STATEMENT:

"It is the duty of the government to provide knowledge, services and materials on modern methods of family planning not only of natural family planning methods like Lactation Amenorrhea Method, Basal Body Temperature and others but also modern family planning methods like pills, IUD, ligation, condom, vasectomy and others.”
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent) To each of these statements, would you please say whether you agree or disagree. LOCATION BL VIS MIN 80 13 6 78 17 5 84 10 6 CLASS D E 82 12 6 79 16 5

(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

RP 82 13 6

NCR 86 10 4

ABC 87 10 3

Agree Undecided Disagree

Sa mga pangungusap na ito ay pakisabi lamang kung gaano kayo ay sumasang-ayon o di sumasang-ayon. Q147. “Katungkulan ng pamahalaan na magbigay ng kaalaman, serbisyo at kagamitan tungkol sa modernong pamamaraan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya hindi lamang sa natural na pamamaraan tulad ng Lactation Amenorrhea Method, Basal Body Temperature at iba pa kundi pati sa modernong pamamaraan tulad ng pills, IUD, pagpapatali, condom, vasectomy at iba pa.”

About four in ten Filipinos (44%) say the government should pass a law specifying the number of children couples may have On the matter of whether or not government should pass a law dictating the number of children a couple may have, 44% of Filipinos support such government action while 36% are not inclined to do the same. Almost two in ten (19%) are undecided on the matter. Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, big pluralities to small majorities (45% to 58%) in Metro Manila, the Visayas, Mindanao, and Classes D and E favor the idea of government passing a law on the number of children couples may have. In contrast, a near majority (47%) of those in the rest of Luzon do not think government should pass such a law while in the poorest Class E, almost the same percentages express either agreement or disagreement (42% versus 40%) with this proposal (Table 3).
Table 3 AGREEMENT / DISAGREEMENT WITH TEST STATEMENT:

“The government should pass a law specifying the number of children.”
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent) To each of these statements, would you please say whether you agree or disagree. LOCATION BL VIS MIN 34 18 47 58 21 21 52 17 31 CLASS D E 45 20 35 42 18 40

(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

RP 44 19 36

NCR 42 24 34

ABC 50 17 33

Agree Undecided Disagree

Sa mga pangungusap na ito ay pakisabi lamang kung gaano kayo ay sumasang-ayon o di sumasang-ayon. Q149. “Ang gobyerno ay dapat magpasa ng batas na nagsasabi kung ilan lang ang dapat maging anak ng mag-asawa.” Notes: (1) % Agree = % Very Much Agree plus % Agree; % Disagree = % Disagree plus % Very Much Disagree (2) Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding off or to Don't Know and Refuse responses.

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While 49% of Filipinos say couples should follow what their religion tells them about family planning, 44% are ambivalent as regards the possibility of their church or religion influencing their vote for a candidate advocating modern family planning methods Big pluralities to sizeable majorities (41% to 68%) across all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings are of the view that couples should follow the dictates of their religion when it comes to the issue of family planning. This sentiment is most manifest in the Visayas and least pronounced in the rest of Luzon. On the other hand, around the same percentages of Filipinos are either ambivalent on the matter or do not agree that couples are obliged to abide by the teachings of their religion on family planning (27% versus 23%) (Table 4).
Table 4 AGREEMENT / DISAGREEMENT WITH TEST STATEMENT:

“Couples should follow what their religion tells them about family planning.”
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent) To each of these statements, would you please say whether you agree or disagree. LOCATION BL VIS MIN 41 31 28 68 21 11 47 27 27 CLASS D E 51 26 22 45 31 24

(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

RP 49 27 23

NCR 53 26 21

ABC 48 22 30

Agree Undecided Disagree

Sa mga pangungusap na ito ay pakisabi lamang kung gaano kayo ay sumasang-ayon o di sumasang-ayon. Q148. “Ang mga mag-asawa ay dapat na sundin ang sinasabi ng kanilang relihiyon tungkol sa pagpaplano ng pamilya.” Notes: (1) % Agree = % Very Much Agree plus % Agree; % Disagree = % Disagree plus % Very Much Disagree (2) Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding off or to Don't Know and Refuse responses.

When it comes to the impact of their church or religion on their decision as to whether or not to vote for a candidate supporting modern family planning methods, indecision is the predominant public sentiment at the national level (44%) and particularly in the rest of Luzon, the Visayas, and Classes D and E (42% to 52%). In contrast, 34% of Filipinos say there is a big possibility their vote would be influenced by their church or religion while 21% express a contrary opinion. In Metro Manila, a big plurality (41%) says there is a big possibility of their church or religion influencing their vote while in Mindanao and Class ABC, nearly the same percentages either share the same sentiment or are undecided on the matter (36% to 39% versus 38% to 41%) (See Table 5).

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Table 5 POSSIBILITY THAT THE POSITION OF THE RESPONDENT'S CHURCH OR RELIGION WILL INFLUENCE HIS/HER VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE ADVOCATING MODERN METHODS OF FAMILY PLANNING
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent) LOCATION BL VIS MIN 30 52 17 0 33 42 22 3 36 41 23 1 CLASS D E 34 45 20 1 31 45 23 1

(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

RP 34 44 21 1

NCR 41 30 27 2

ABC 39 38 22 1

Big possibility Undecided Small/No possibility No effect

Q152. Gaano kalaki o kaliit ang posibilidad na maimpluwensiyahan ng inyong simbahan o relihiyon ang inyong pagboto sa isang kandidato na nagsusulong ng modernong pagpaplano ng pamilya para sa mag-asawa? Notes: (1) % Big possibility = % Very big plus % Big; % Small/No possibility = % Small plus % Very small/None (2) Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding off or to Don't Know and Refuse responses.

Almost all Filipinos consider it important for one to have the ability to plan the family for the welfare of both the family (93%) and the country (90%) Overwhelming majorities across all geographic areas and socio-economic classes (84% to 99%) say it is important for couples to have the ability to plan their families for the sake of the family and the country as a whole. Less than one in ten Filipinos (6% to 9%) are ambivalent on the matter and practically none consider this to be unimportant (Table 6).
Table 6 IMPORTANCE OF HAVING THE ABILITY TO PLAN THE FAMILY FOR THE WELFARE OF THE FAMILY AND THE COUNTRY
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent) Importance of having the ability to plan the family for the WELFARE OF THE FAMILY. This does not include abortion.
(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

RP 93 6 1

NCR 98 2 0

LOCATION BL VIS MIN 94 4 2 89 11 0 92 7 1

ABC 99 1 0

CLASS D E 93 6 1 92 7 1

Important Undecided Not important Importance of having the ability to plan the family for the WELFARE OF THE COUNTRY. This does not include abortion.
(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

Important Undecided Not important

90 9 1

92 8 1

92 8 0

84 15 1

89 8 3

96 4 0

89 9 1

89 11 1

Q150. Sa inyong palagay, gaano kahalaga para sa kapakanan ng pamilya na magkaroon ng kakayahang mag-plano ng pamilya, halimbawa pag-aagwat ng pag-aanak at paglimita sa bilang ng anak? Hindi po kasama sa family planning ang pagpapalaglag o abortion. Q151. Sa inyong palagay, gaano kahalaga para sa kapakanan ng bansa na magkaroon ng kakayahang mag-plano ng pamilya, halimbawa pag-aagwat ng pag-aanak at paglimita sa bilang ng anak? Hindi po kasama sa family planning ang pagpapalaglag o abortion. Notes: (1) % Important = % Very important plus % Important; % Not important = % Not Important plus % Not at all important (2) Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding off or to Don't Know and Refuse responses.

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Most Filipinos are aware of the reproductive health bill pending at the House of Representatives (68%) and are in favor of the bill (63%) Awareness of the reproductive health bill being discussed at the Lower House is reported by 68% of Filipinos while 32% do not know about the bill. Across all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, majorities (60% to 89%) know about the proposed legislation with the highest level of public awareness being recorded in the best-off socio-economic Class ABC. In contrast, lack of awareness is most pronounced in Mindanao and Class E (38% and 40%, respectively) (Table 7A). A considerable majority of Filipinos (63%), whether aware or unaware of the reproductive health bill, expresses support for the proposed legislation while only 8% are not in favor and 29% are ambivalent on the matter. Majorities ranging from 56% in the Visayas to 79% in Class ABC are in favor of the bill. In contrast, 8% are not in favor of the bill while 29% are unable to say whether or not they support the bill. Public ambivalence on the matter is more notable in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Class E (32% to 35%) than in Class ABC and Metro Manila (13% to 21%) (Table 7A).
Table 7A REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent)
page 1 of 2

A bill on reproductive health is currently being discussed at the House of Representatives. According to the authors, the bill seeks to promote information and access to natural and modern family planning methods as well as to recognize the rights of women and couples to choose the family planning method that they want based on their needs and personal and religious beliefs. However, critics argue against the bill’s promotion of the use of artificial contraceptives, inclusion of sex education in the school curricula, and the use of government funds to support modern family planning methods, among others. Awareness of the Reproductive Health Bill
(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

RP 68 32

NCR 83 17

LOCATION BL VIS MIN 66 34 73 27 62 38

ABC 89 11

CLASS D E 70 30 60 40

Aware Not aware Whether or not in favor of the Reproductive Health Bill
(Base: Total interviews, 100%)

In favor Undecided Not in favor

63 29 8

72 21 7

65 28 8

56 32 12

60 34 6

79 13 8

63 29 9

59 35 7

Isang panukalang batas ukol sa kalusugang pangreproduksyon ang kasalukuyang tinatalakay ngayon sa Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso. Ayon sa mga may-akda, ang panukalang batas na ito ay naglalayong ipalaganap/ikalat ang impormasyon at pagbigay ng natural at modernong pamamaraan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya at pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga kababaihan at mag-asawa na pumili ng paraan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya na kanilang gusto ayon sa kanilang kailangan at personal at relihiyosong paniniwala. Subalit, ang mga kritiko naman ay sumasalungat sa pagpapalaganap/pagkalat ng paggamit ng “artificial contraceptives”, pagsama ng “sex education” sa paaralan at ang paggamit ng pondo ng pamahalaan para suportahan ang mga makabagong paraan ng pagplano ng pamilya, at iba pa. Q153. May narinig, nabasa o napanood na ba kayo bukod sa ngayon tungkol sa bill na ito o wala? Q154. Kayo po ba ay sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon sa bill na ito?

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Among the 8% of Filipinos who do not favor the proposed legislation, additional survey findings show that: (1) 47% agree with the need to promote information and access to natural and modern family planning methods; (2) 69% agree with the provision of the bill recognizing the rights of women and couples to choose the family method they want; (3) about the same percentages either agree or disagree (36% versus 35%) with the inclusion of sex education in the school curricula; and (4) 44% believe government funds should be used to support modern family planning methods. Indecision on these issues is expressed by 20% to 33% of Filipinos while disagreement is articulated by 10% to 35%. Public disagreement is most manifest in relation to the proposal to include sex education in the school curricula (35%) (Table 7B).
Table 7B REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL
October 14 - 27, 2008 / Philippines (In Percent)
page 2 of 2

Could you tell us whether you STRONGLY AGREE, AGREE, MAY AGREE AND MAY DISAGREE, DISAGREE OR STRONGLY DISAGREE of the coverage of the Reproductive Health Bill? Promote information and access to natural and modern family planning
(Base: Those who are NOT IN FAVOR of RH bill, 8%)

RP 47 32 21

NCR 70 10 20

LOCATION BL VIS MIN 35 62 3 42 13 44 70 6 24

ABC 62 34 5

CLASS D E 44 38 18 50 16 33

Agree Undecided Disagree Recognize the rights of women and couples to choose the family planning method that they want based on their needs and personal and religious beliefs
(Base: Those who are NOT IN FAVOR of RH bill, 8%)

Agree Undecided Disagree Inclusion of sex education in the school curricula
(Base: Those who are NOT IN FAVOR of RH bill, 8%)

69 20 10

75 15 10

55 30 16

84 11 5

76 18 6

75 25 0

63 24 13

85 8 7

Agree Undecided Disagree The use of government funds to support modern family planning methods
(Base: Those who are NOT IN FAVOR of RH bill, 8%)

36 29 35

60 20 20

46 29 25

19 30 51

28 33 39

19 44 37

36 32 32

42 16 42

Agree Undecided Disagree

44 33 23

65 25 10

52 26 22

28 52 21

39 22 39

52 31 17

44 36 20

41 25 34

Sa pamamagitan po ng board na ito (SHOW RATING BOARD), maaari bang pakisabi ninyo kung kayo ay LUBOS NA SUMASANG-AYON, SUMASANG-AYON, MAAARING SUMASANG-AYON AT MAAARING HINDI SUMASANG-AYON, HINDI SUMASANG-AYON o LUBOS NA HINDI SUMASANG-AYON sa mga nakasaad sa panukalang batas ukol sa kalusugang pangreproduksyon o Reproductive Health Bill? Q155a. Ipalaganap/ikalat ang impormasyon at pagbigay ng natural at modernong pamamaraan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya Q155b. Pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga kababaihan at mag-asawa na pumili ng paraan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya na kanilang gusto ayon sa kanilang kailangan at personal at relihiyosong paniniwala Q155c. Pagsali ng “sex education” sa itinuturo ng paaralan Q155d. Paggamit ng pondo ng pamahalaan para suportahan ang mga makabagong paraan ng pagplano ng pamilya Notes: (1) % Agree = % Very Much Agree plus % Agree; % Disagree = % Disagree plus % Very Much Disagree (2) Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding off or to Don't Know and Refuse responses.

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