MANILA, July 13 (Mabuhay) — A Social Weather Stations poll found that three out of four Filipinos or 75 percent of those polled were in favor of Congress renewing ABS-CBN’s franchise, and over half of those polled considered a non-renewal a major blow to press freedom.

The SWS’ National Mobile Phone Survey, taken from July 3-6 as the House of Representatives debated the renewal of the franchise but before the July 10 vote by the Committee on Legislative Franchises which denied the application, also found that 13 percent disagreed with a franchise renewal with 10 percent undecided.

Geographically, the proportion of those who called on Congress to renew the ABS-CBN franchise was highest in Mindanao at 80 percent, followed by the Visayas at 77 percent, Balance Luzon at 74 percent, and Metro Manila at 69 percent.

It was higher in rural areas at 81 percent than in urban areas at 70 percent.

Meanwhile, 56 percent of those polled said that a non-renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise would be a major blow to press freedom, while 27 percent said it had no effect on press freedom while 15 percent were undecided on the matter.

The proportion of those who considered Congress’ non-renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise as a major blow to press freedom was highest in the Visayas at 59 percent, followed by Mindanao at 57 percent, Balance Luzon at 55 percent, and Metro Manila 52 percent.

Majorities in both rural and urban areas, 57 percent and 55 percent respectively, considered a non-renewal a blow to press freedom.

The SWS July 3-6, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey was a probability-based survey that used mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews of 1,555 adult Filipinos nationwide. The survey had sampling error margins of ±2 percent for national percentages; ±6 percent for Metro Manila; and ±5 percent for Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.  (MNS)

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