90% of youth in ARMM in favor of BOL ratification: survey

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

December 6, 2018, 2:46 pm

MANILA – Nearly 90 percent of the youth in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will vote in favor of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), a survey conducted by peace-building organization, International Alert Philippines, showed.

The survey, which was conducted on Oct. 29 - Nov. 19, 2018, found that 89.4 percent of respondents aged 18 to 35 in the ARMM, who have registered their intention to vote in the plebiscite, will vote “yes” to the BOL ratification.

The respondents were 614 youths in the provinces of the current ARMM, the cities of Isabela and Cotabato, the towns of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal in Lanao del Norte, and six towns in North Cotabato.

The poll also showed that the result remains significant when combining all the youth in the region, whether they intend to vote or not, at 60.4 percent or nearly-two thirds of the sample.

Meanwhile, the voting preference among those who intend to vote in ARMM and those from other areas that are set to vote for inclusion in the new Bangsamoro political entity is at 86.5 percent in favor of the BOL. Close to 60 percent remain in favor, whether or not they intend to vote.

In a press conference on Thursday, Alert’s country manager Nikki de la Rosa said the data suggest that getting more youth to vote will add to the base of support for the BOL.

“Kailangan talagang maging active sa pag-engage (We really need to be active in engaging) with young people so that they turn out to vote on January 21 and carry the yes vote,” de la Rosa said.

“This is significant considering that the youth comprise 57 percent of the registered voters in the ARMM,” de la Rosa said.

A plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL is scheduled on January 21, 2019 in the areas identified in the law, which includes the core territory of the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, towns in Lanao del Norte, barangays in North Cotabato, and the cities of Cotabato and Isabela.

According to the survey, the percentage of youth from Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao provinces showing big support for the BOL reach 90 percent, as well as youth from all the towns in Lanao del Norte and the towns of Aleosan, Kabacan, and Pikit in North Cotabato.

More than half of the youth from the cities of Cotabato and Isabela are in favor of BOL at 56.8 percent and 58.8 percent, respectively.

However, more than half of youth respondents in the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi were either not in favor or unsure of the BOL.

A repeat survey will be conducted in the first week of January or two weeks before the actual voting next year to examine whether the same trends will hold. (PNA)