Despite the fact that the majority of Filipinos are happy with the way democracy in the country operates, over 26 percent of people identify as “conditional authoritarians”—those who occasionally prefer a single person or central authority.

According to a survey by Social Weather Stations, just 60% of respondents claimed to “always prefer” democracy to any other form of administration (SWS).

SWS vice president Jay Sandoval gave a presentation at the recent 2023 SWS Survey Review, which was held at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, that included a summary of the survey findings on satisfaction and preference for a democratic form of government.

According to the results of the study taken between December 10 and December 14 of last year, over 60% of the respondents were categorized as “committed democrats,” or those who always prefer democracy.

It doesn’t matter to them whether the Philippines has a democratic or authoritarian government, according to 15% of respondents.

The SWS has not yet disclosed all of the survey’s specifics.

According to the graph, however, since it was initially incorporated into the survey during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, preference for a democratic system of government has largely remained at between 50 and 60 percent.

During the late Benigno Aquino III’s administration, it achieved both its highest and lowest points, above 60% and below 50%, respectively.

Despite criticism for his actions, which were considered as posing a threat to the nation’s democratic institutions, it maintained above 50% during the Duterte presidency.

The Philippines was labeled as having “flawed democracy” in the Philippines by the London-based research tank Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its Democracy Index 2022 last month.

The nation rose from 54th place in 2021 to 52nd place out of 167 nations and territories in the yearly rankings.

“Flawed democracies” are countries that have free and fair elections and uphold fundamental civil liberties but have serious flaws in other areas, such as government, political culture, and participation.

According to the most recent SWS survey, 89 percent of respondents were happy with the way democracy operates in the Philippines, an increase over the less than 80 percent found in a study conducted during the previous administration.

Since democracy was added to the survey during the first Aquino administration following the end of the dictatorship, the SWS data indicated that this was the level of democracy satisfaction that was at its highest.

The study conducted in December 2022 included 1,200 participants with a plus or minus 2.8% error margin.

Pledge of Allegiance

Sara Duterte, vice president and secretary of education, has given her approval to the proposed change to the “Panatang Makabayan” or “Patriotic Oath,” which changes the word “nagdarasal” to “nanadoya,” both of which mean “prayer.”

In a department directive issued on February 14, Duterte noted that the Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Teaching (OUCT) of the Department of Education (DepEd) had proposed the adjustment after consulting with a number of experts and groups.

“The OUCT recommended that ‘praying’ be used instead of ‘nagdarasalan’ for several reasons, chiefly because the ‘praying’ is inherent and integral in Filipino identities as it is rooted in Tagalog. Likewise, it is more inclusive and appropriate as it does not refer to or specify religions, and at the same time, it encompasses indigenous belief systems,” she said.

“Secondly, as stated by the focal persons representing the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples and the individuals belonging to Muslim and Moro communities, ‘dalangin’ and its equivalents may be more preferred than ‘dasal’ since ‘dalangin’ is more spiritual and universal,” she continued. “Thirdly, based on the data provided by the Philippine Bible Society, native words are preferred when the Bible is being translated into different Philippine languages.”

According to the Vice President, the motion was deemed to be well-written and well justified by the Linguistic Society of the Philippines.

The usage of “nanadoya” was supported by the National Association of Filipino Linguistics and Literature because it is more inclusive and somber, and because it was carefully considered and well researched.

Although the Language Study Center of the Philippine Normal University had a different viewpoint, according to Duterte, it supported the OUCT’s ultimate conclusion in this subject.

The order stated, “Based on the aforementioned and commensurate with the authority and instruction issued to the Secretary of Education, the Secretary has assessed the need to alter the current Panatang Makabayan, in accordance with the recommendations of various experts and linguists.”

I love the Philippines; it is my native country and the homeland of my people. It has accepted me and helped me become strong, dependable, and honorable. Because I care for the Philippines, I will respect my parents’ counsel, adhere to school regulations, and carry out my patriotic responsibilities by serving, learning, and earnestly praying. I shall give the Philippines my entire being—all of my hopes and endeavors.

In her order, Duterte mandated that all public and private schools, as well as DepEd Offices, recite the Panatang Makabayan during the ceremony to raise the flag, in class, and as part of the daily program of school activities.