6 out of 10 Dabawenyos uncertain of China aid

60% of Dabawenyos prefer to receive loans, grants from other countries than China
Unity Park near the Davao Chinatown Arc
Unity Park near the Davao Chinatown ArcRalph Llemit/SunStar File Photo

SIX out of 10 Dabawenyos said they are uncertain of the aid given by China, as they are also unsure of the consequences that it may bring. This, according to the survey conducted by the University of Mindanao (UM)-Institute of Popular Opinion (IPO).

The survey, conducted from April 4 to 15, 2024, revealed that 60 percent of Dabawenyos prefer to receive loans and grants from other countries than China. It also showed that female residents from District 3, aged 25 to 44, are pronouncedly neutral toward Chinese economic aid. 

On business investment in Davao City, around 38.1 percent of respondents viewed Chinese investments as somewhat positive, and equal parts were neutral about it. While 13.9 percent have a very positive attitude toward the investments, this is observed in all three political districts of the city, mostly from non-resident workers. 

Meanwhile, regarding hosting Chinese tourists, around 51 to 53.5 percent of respondents among the three districts showed uncertainty about the benefits or drawbacks of having Chinese tourists in the city. Despite this, about 21.1 to 24.2 percent showed a willingness to welcome tourists from China. 

Of the respondents who answered the survey, only non-resident students in Davao City expressed opposition to hosting Chinese tourists. In contrast, non-residents working in the city were more inclined to host.

Regardless of the ambivalence in hosting Chinese tourists, a huge majority of respondents, 85.7 percent, said they know the longstanding economic and political relations between the Philippines and China. The 85.7 percent are scattered in the three political districts in the city, and higher awareness is among the older respondents and non-residents currently working in Davao. 

However, Dabawenyos showed a generally neutral stance to the Chinese as a country with 52.6 percent remaining neutral and 27.7 percent having a somewhat favorable view of the country. 

The UM-IPO conducted a comprehensive survey on Dabawenyos' general attitude toward the political and economic ties of the Philippines and Davao City with China. The survey has around 1,176 valid responses coming from 1,200 households in the three political districts of Davao City. 

Expert analysis

According to UM-IPO experts, the survey results highlight the nuanced attitudes of Dabawenyos towards China.

“While a majority of respondents demonstrate awareness of China-Philippines relations, their attitudes towards specific facets of this relationship vary considerably. Ambivalence towards hosting Chinese tourists and receiving economic aid from China underscores public apprehensions and uncertainties, possibly influenced by broader geopolitical tensions and concerns about sovereignty,” they said.

They added that the survey underscores the importance of nuanced and context-sensitive approaches in understanding public attitudes toward international relations and economic cooperation. RGP


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