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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Statement of the National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo M. Año on the recent OCTA Research survey results

By NSC

We welcome the findings of the Tugon ng Masa Fourth Quarter survey conducted by OCTA Research, which sheds light on the sentiments of the Filipino people regarding the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue.

The survey, conducted last month among 1,200 adult respondents, has revealed that a significant majority of 72% believe that the Marcos administration should assert the country's territorial rights in the WPS through military action, specifically through expanded naval patrols and troop presence in the area.

Consistent with the views of the people, we are prioritizing the modernization of the armed forces and the coast guard with the acquisition of the latest state-of-the-art assets in order to achieve credible defense. We have also stepped up maritime and air patrols in the ared as well as conducted maritime cooperation activities and exercises with the United States and with other countries in the future.

We acknowledge the importance of understanding the public sentiment and values the democratic process that allows the Filipino people to express their views on matters of national significance. We note that the WPS issue is of great concern to the public, as evidenced by the respondents' strong preference for a robust approach to safeguarding the country's territorial integrity.

It is essential to recognize the diversity of opinions reflected in the survey, with 70% of respondents expressing the belief that the issue should also be addressed through diplomacy and other peaceful methods. We emphasize the importance of considering a comprehensive national strategy that encompasses both military and diplomatic efforts to secure and protect the nation's interests in the WPS.

We reiterate the commitment of the Marcos administration to prioritize the welfare and security of the Filipino people. The government will carefully evaluate the survey results, taking into account the multifaceted nature of the WPS issue, to formulate policies that align with the collective aspirations of the nation.

We encourage continued engagement and discourse on matters related to national security, emphasizing the importance of unity in addressing challenges and securing a prosperous future for the Philippines. (NSC)