21 January 2009

Six of Ten Favor RH Bill

Photo courtesy of jimmy domingo
There is one good news for many Filipinos at the start of 2009. According to a survey by Pulse Asia, six of 10 Filipinos favor a proposed bill on reproductive health pending at the House of Representatives. This despite the Church's all-out campaign against it.

Pulse Asia said the survey also showed eight of 10 Filipinos believe government should not only educate couples on family planning but also provide them with services and materials.

It further revealed that a considerable majority of Filipinos (63 percent), whether aware or unaware of the reproductive health bill, expresses support for the proposed legislation while only 8 percent are not in favor and 29 percent are ambivalent on the matter.

Awareness of the bill ranges from 60 to 89 percent across geographical areas and socioeconomic groups, with the highest awareness level recorded in the socioeconomic Class ABC and in Metro Manila.

Support for the passage of the bill ranged from 56 percent in the Visayas to 79 percent in Class ABC. Only eight percent are not in favor while 29 percent are ambivalent of the RH bill.

Ambivalence is more notable in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Class E groups (32 to 35 percent) compared to Class ABC and Metro Manila (13 to 21 percent).

Among the eight percent that do not support the passage of the RH bill, 47 percent agree that there is a need to promote information and access to natural and modern family planning methods.

Sixty-nine percent, meanwhile, recognizes the rights of women and couples to choose their family planning method.

About 36 percent agree and 35 percent disagree with the inclusion of sex education in the school curricula, and 44 percent believe that government funds should be used to support modern family planning methods.

Public disagreement (35 percent) was seen regarding the proposal to include sex education in the school curricula.

About 93 percent of Filipinos believe it is important to have the ability to plan the family for the welfare of its members while 90 percent said it is also important for the country.

Around 82 percent, on the other hand, think that government should educate couples regarding modern family planning methods and provide them with services and materials.

Four in 10 Filipinos or 44 percent said government should pass a law specifying the number of children that couples may have. However, 36 percent disagreed.

Close to five in 10 Filipinos (49 percent) said couples should follow that their religion dictates about family planning.

However, 44 percent are ambivalent about the influence of their religion on their vote for a candidate advocating modern family planning methods.

The survey was based on a multistage probability sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above, and has a +/- 3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a +/- 6 percent error margin, also at 95 percent confidence level.

Face-to-face field interviews for this project were conducted from 14 to 17 October 2008.