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EDITORIAL: A Ready Nation

IN a recent survey conducted by OCTA Research for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a compelling revelation emerged: a resounding 77% of adult Filipinos are ready to defend their country in the event of a conflict with a foreign adversary.

This data, obtained from the December 2023 Fourth Quarter Tugon ng Masa (TNM) Survey, sheds light on the unwavering patriotism and commitment of the Filipino people.

The study, carried out from December 10 to 14, 2023, involved a representative sample of 1,200 adult Filipinos, boasting a margin of error of ±3%. Delving into regional disparities, Mindanao stands out with an impressive 84% readiness, while the Visayas lags slightly behind at 62%.

Davao Region and CARAGA lead the regional charge with a striking 96%, underscoring the regional diversity in sentiments.

Interestingly, the survey exposes variations across socioeconomic classes, with Class D respondents demonstrating the highest willingness at 80%.

Class E and Class ABC respondents closely follow at 68% and 67%, respectively, offering a nuanced perspective on the intersectionality of national loyalty.

Intersectionality is a concept that recognizes and explores the interconnected nature of social categories such as race, gender, class, and sexuality. It highlights how these aspects overlap and intersect, influencing an individual’s experiences and opportunities, shaping their overall social identity.

Urban-rural distinctions also come to the forefront, revealing that 80% of urban dwellers are prepared to fight, compared to 73% in rural areas.

Unveiling a gender dimension, the survey notes that while both men and women exhibit a majority in favor of defending the nation, men take the lead at 82%, with women at 72%.

Educational attainment emerges as another factor influencing the readiness to fight. Respondents with vocational education show the highest enthusiasm at 86%, followed by those with a high school education (79%).

Surprisingly, individuals with college or postgraduate education display the lowest willingness at 70%, prompting reflections on the role of education in shaping nationalistic fervor.

Age-wise, the survey finds that respondents aged 45 to 54 exhibit the highest readiness at 87%, followed closely by those aged 25 to 34 and 35 to 44, both standing at 77%. The youngest age group (18-24) shows a commendable 74%, emphasizing the widespread commitment across generations.

The backdrop of the survey, marked by the China Coast Guard’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, adds a poignant context to the findings. The incidents involving water cannons fired at Philippine vessels underscore the real-world relevance of the respondents’ sentiments.

As the nation grapples with geopolitical challenges, the overwhelming readiness of Filipinos to defend their homeland serves as a testament to the resilience and unity that bind the archipelago.

The survey paints a vivid picture of a populace ready to stand together in the face of adversity, reaffirming the indomitable spirit of the Philippine nation.


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