The crew of the Gem-Ver 1 fishing boat involved in the incident near Recto Bank on June 9, 2019. (Photo from the Philippine News Agency)

A new poll by the Social Weather Stations found little trust in China among Filipinos, in contrast to a belief by the majority that the United States had “good intentions” on the Philippines.

The June 22-26, 2019 survey found 51 percent of adult Filipino respondents with little trust, 21 percent undecided, and 27 percent with much trust in China.

This translated to a net trust rating of -24, which the SWS classified as “poor.”

SWS noted that the net trust rating dropped 18 points from the “neutral” -6 in March 2019, and was the lowest since the “bad” -35 rating in June 2018.

The survey was conducted after the June 9 incident at Recto Bank near the disputed Kalayaan Islands, in which a Chinese vessel rammed a Filipino fishing boat and left the crew in peril at sea. The Filipino crew was rescued by a Vietnamese vessel.

The poll also found that 81 percent of Filipinos had much trust in the US, while 11 percent were undecided, and 8 percent had little trust.

This translated to a net trust rating of an “excellent” +73, up 13 points from the “very good” +60 in March 2019, and the highest since the excellent +74 in September 2015.

SWS said its June 2019 survey also found that 43 percent of Filipino adults disagreed with the statement, “Most of what the Chinese government wants to happen in the Philippines is good for the Filipinos.” 

Only 27 percent agreed and 30 percent were undecided about the matter.

In contrast, 55 percent agreed that the US had good intentions for the Filipino people, while 28 percent were undecided. Seventeen percent disagreed. 

SWS said this was the highest level of agreement since 1986.

Five other countries had good net trust ratings: +46 for Canada, +46 for Australia, +45 for Japan, +38 for New Zealand, and +34 for Malaysia.

SWS polled 1,200 adults, 300 each in Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. The survey had a sampling error margins of ±3 points. (