Panel Abstract

Survey-Based Monitoring of Crime, Public Safety and Opinion on the Duterte Administration’s Campaign against Illegal Drugs in the Philippines

In the Philippines, Social Weather Stations (SWS) has been monitoring crime victimization and public safety in its nationwide surveys for more than three decades. Crime victimization is measured by asking respondents about their or their family members’ actual experience of the following in the last 6 months: a) their home has been broken into, b) been robbed outside the home, c) motor vehicle has been stolen, and d) suffered physical violence. Results from the 1989-2018 surveys show a general decline nationally and across areas in terms of victimization by common crimes.  

Public safety is measured by respondents’ agreement or disagreement to the following statements that in their neighborhood: a) people are usually afraid that robbers might break into their houses, b) people are usually afraid to walk in the street at night because it is not safe, and c) there are already very many people addicted to banned drugs. Results from the 1985-2017 surveys show a downward then an upward trend in fear of safety at home and in the street. Measured since 2005, visibility of drug addicts shows an upward trend up to 2017, followed by a downward trend up to 2018.

The Duterte Administration in 2016 launched its anti-illegal drug campaign and public opinion on this matter was surveyed by SWS. The surveys found Filipinos satisfied with the Administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign, saying the presence of drug addicts declined in their locality and that their family’s safety improved. However, there were also reports of those falsely summoned in the anti-drug operations and suspected drug dealers being killed. Filipinos were worried of being victimized by extra-judicial killing and considered it a serious problem, but also said the Administration is serious about solving the problem.

Crime victimization, public safety and opinion on the Administration’s campaign against illegal drugs in the Philippines will continue to be monitored by SWS in its surveys.