With the upcoming May 2022 Presidential Elections, the University Research Council (URC) conducted its 4th run of the Blue Vote Political Survey to complement the University Engagement and Advocacy Council’s (UCEAC) Blue Vote Program. The survey aimed to gather the voting behavior, the leadership, and electoral preferences, and other policy-related perception items from among the members of the Ateneo de Davao community (In-campus Survey) and from the residents of Davao City (Off-campus/Citywide Survey).

For the In-campus Survey, the results coming from the Basic Education Units (Grades 5 &6, Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) students) had been released and disseminated last Friday, March 18, 2022. While mostly non-voters, the students’ responses were significant, especially since this reflects their awareness of the current political scene and other socio-economic concerns or issues for legislation.

From among the Grades 5-12 respondents, they identified the key issues and concerns that incoming Davao City officials should prioritize. Most of the learners selected the environment problems, poverty, low-income low salaries, unemployment or lack of job opportunities, and illegal drugs or substances. The majority of the respondents across all grade levels, especially the females, considered Health as an area of local governance that was of greater importance for them. This was then followed by Basic Education, and Peace and Order. The SHS learners, on the other hand, selected Employment or Jobs as third in rank of importance. 

General perception items on selected national, political and socio-economic issues were also asked from the Basic Education respondents. Both the JHS and SHS learners both disagree with 29.3% and 27.3% respectively that the CPP-NPA-NDF should not be labeled a terrorist group. On the other hand, majority of the JHS and SHS respondents agree that the Philippine government should continue engaging in peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF. Almost half of the JHS and the SHS respondents also agree that the BARMM has been doing a satisfactory job of providing conditions of lasting peace in Mindanao. Majority also agree with the recognition and support by state funding that should be given to public and private schools in the improvement of the Philippine educational system. 

On the Philippine government’s satisfactory management of the COVID problem, majority of the Grade School and Junior High School respondents lean towards the Agree response while more than a quarter of the SHS respondents Disagree. More than half of the respondents across all Basic Education units have also expressed their agreement on the opening of schools and allowing face-to-face classes at all levels next school year. Furthermore, almost two-thirds of the respondents across all units agree that the blended instructional model is the appropriate direction in the post-pandemic world. 

While most respondents are ineligible to vote, they were still asked to identify the top three political leadership traits of an effective elected official. Cutting across all the grade levels, the same top three answers emerged with varying percentages. They chose the following: elected official is keenly aware of our actual situation, knows the law and the bureaucracy, and communicates a vision or has a plan/program. Top personal attributes of the elected official that were selected by the respondents include the following: is easily approachable, is sincere, treats people equally, treats people fairly, and has integrity.

Albeit hypothetical, the respondents were also asked for their electoral preferences, both for the Local and National Elections. For Mayor of Davao City, the top choice was Baste Duterte, taking more than half of the respondents from each of the Basic Education units. On the other hand, majority of the Junior High School and the Senior High School respondents cannot decide whether they would vote for Atty. Melchor Quitain Jr. as Vice-Mayor of Davao City. For the representative of District 1, Paolo Duterte was selected by majority of the Grade School, JHS, and SHS respondents who are residents of District 1. But for representative of District 2, almost half of the GS, JHS, and SHS respondents from District 2 said they honestly do not know. For District 3, majority of the Grade 5 and 6 respondents from District 3 chose Isidro Ungab, while the prevailing response of the JHS and SHS respondents is they honestly do not know. 

Finally, the top Vice-Presidential candidate selected by majority of the respondents across all Basic Education units is Sara Duterte. The Presidential candidate chosen by majority of the Grades 5 & 6 and the JHS students is Bongbong Marcos while for the SHS respondents, Leni Robredo came out first and was closely followed by Bongbong Marcos. 

These are the results of the Basic Education students (Grades 5-12) for the In-campus Blue Vote Political Survey. Access to the details of the result can be found in the URC website – research.addu.edu.ph.

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