The Ateneo de Davao University Social Research Training and Development Office (SRTDO) recently concluded the 9th series of its City Wide Social Survey (CWSS) conducted last 21-26 April 2018. Researchers from the SRTDO Dr. Christine S. Diaz, Ms. Mildred M. Estanda, and Dr. Cleofe A. Arib conducted this annual survey. This same survey has also become a regular research feature of the university, which aims to present the current social profile and mapping of the many social realities affecting the citizens of Davao City within a given period.

The survey revealed that half of the 630 adults polled claimed to have a job, while a little over one third claimed that though they are currently jobless, they had been previously employed. Meanwhile, about 1 in 10 claimed that they never had a job. The data showed a significant 9.1% drop among those who claimed to hold jobs from the previous CWSS.

Among those currently working, more than half declared themselves as self-employed at 60.4%, while 37.7% are categorized as hired, which category comprises both blue-collar and white-collar workers, technicians, and other skilled workers.

An overwhelming majority declared their perceived poverty status as being on the line at 85.1%, in contrast to only 11.9% who claimed to be poor, and a very small 3% not claiming to be poor. This trend is very perceptible in the three districts, averaging at above 80%, the highest being in District 1 which figured at 86%. Somehow, this poverty perception rating remains consistently on average with the previous three surveys which figured at 83.4% (6th CWSS), 84.92% (7th CWSS) and 84% (8th CWSS), respectively.
These numbers are backed up by an overwhelming answer to the question of experience of hunger, where the majority of the respondents in the three districts (figured highly at above 80%) resoundingly claimed that they had not experienced hunger in Davao.

Role of the Local Government

Also noteworthy is the respondents’ understanding of the responsibility of the local government to address the perceived gap between the rich and the poor. This year, expectations were kept low as only 3 out of 10 answered that it is the obligation of the local government unit to close the gap, which showed a drop from the results of the last survey. This current survey’s rating indicated by far the lowest perception percentage within the last five surveys, an indication that Davaoeños do not solely rely on the government alone to solve issues and concerns regarding poverty.

Slightly below half of the Davaoeños polled (48.2%) believed that the quality of their lives had remained the same. On the other hand, only 3 out of 10 respondents believed that their lives have become better than before. It’s interesting to note that since the 4th CWSS survey, there seems to be a discernible downward trend among the respondents’ perception of how their lives have improved through the years. Meanwhile, only 2 out of 10 claimed that they have experienced difficulty.

Despite the respondents’ perception of their state of life at the moment, they have remained personally optimistic. Slightly above half (54.8%) look forward to a better life than before, whereas only 36.3% believed that it would remain as is.

Perception on the Local Economy

7 out of 10 respondents registered a high level of trust in the local economy, believing it to be better. This rating has remained consistent in the last 4 CWSS surveys, averaging at around 73%. In contrast, those who claimed that it would remain the same has dipped down to 16%, a 6-point drop from the last survey’s, while those who believed that is will get worse has leapfrogged to almost 10%, showing an increase of 4% from the previous. Among those who exhibited better trust in the economy impacting on their lives, close to 90% came from the A and B classes, while a good 78.6% and 71.1% are derived from classes C and D, respectively. Even those at class E posted a relatively high trust at 68%.

Impact of K-12 Educational Reform

The K-12 program has received some criticism from the Davaoeños polled, with 3 out of 10 polled believing that companies would be hesitant to hire graduates from the Senior High School (SHS). Another 3 out of 10 believed the SHS graduates would have limited job opportunities; incidentally, 2 out of 10 expressed that they are not yet ready for work.

Governance Issues

Regarding national politics, the Davaoeños remained in steadfast support of the Duterte family, solidifying Davao as a Duterte bailiwick. 8 out of 10 respondents claimed that they are very satisfied with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s performance as president, contrasting with the results for the vice president, whose support level reached only 14.3%. The vice president also received the highest dissatisfaction rating among the respondents at 29.2%. Locally, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio enjoyed great support from her constituents, with 9 out of 10 respondents claiming to be very satisfied with her performance as the chief executive of Davao City. Despite the longstanding war on drugs in Davao, the Davaoeños rated drugs as the most pressing problem gripping the city.

Fulfilled Promises

The Davaoeños, according to the survey, believed that the Duterte administration has fulfilled these campaign promises: OFW welfare; solution to the illegal drug problem, and peace and order/security; women’s rights; peace; infrastructure; taxation; reproductive health; and enhanced international relations. On the other hand, the citizens believed that the government still has to fulfill its promises to improve the internet service in the country; to finally end contractualization; to address climate change; and to commence the transition to the federal form of government.

Ahead of Pres. Duterte’s next SONA in July, the respondents named the top three issues they want to be discussed, which are employment/job opportunities, achievements for the past year, and updates on peace and order.

Happiness Index

7 out of 10 respondents considered themselves moderately happy, only 3 out of 10 labeled themselves extremely happy, while an insignificant 2% to 1% said that they are not happy. 3 of 4 respondents said their happiness centered on their family life; 1 out of 4 expressed happiness about their health and wellness; and about 16.94% of the respondents told of their happiness with their financial stability.

The CWSS is an initiative of the University that was started in 2014, a tool to enhance the University’s data-gathering capacity as it carries out tracking surveys or polls. Through its own CWSS, the University intends not only to gather data on awareness-perception-opinion-attitude or socio-demographic type but also to build a database for analytic purposes whose information will be shared to primary stakeholders at the local, regional, national and international levels. ADDU’s CWSS is funded and supported by the University Research Council (URC). The complete data of this year’s CWSS may be accessed at the URC website:

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