BAGUIO CITY – Majority of local residents want aspirants for the upcoming May 2016 general elections to address various pressing issues ranging from unemployment, traffic congestion, and corruption among others, a recent tracking survey result of Manila-based Philippine Social Beat showed.
When asked “What are the three most important problems that the city is facing today which must be given attention by local officials,” at least 52.87 percent of the respondents claimed it is unemployment followed by traffic congestion at 42.38 percent, corruption and abuse of power – 34.04 percent, overpopulation – 32.74 percent, environmental degradation – 25.31 percent, poverty and hunger – 25.21 percent, insufficient livelihood programs – 24.27 percent, illicit drug and substance abuse – 21.47 percent, lack of access to education – 19.32 percent, increase in heinous crimes – 19.12 percent, insufficient health care programs – 17.98 percent and others – 2.38 percent.
For the first time in the history of the city, a survey conducted by an upcoming survey group in Manila focused on issues that must be given appropriate solutions by officials aspiring for local elective positions. It had a total of 3,070 respondents representing more than 2 percent of the city’s voting population with a margin of error of plus and minus 2 percent and was undertaken during the period last week of November to first week of February.
Traffic congestions in the city’s central business district continue to be a mjor problem of the city government because of the recent boom in businesses coupled with the significant increase in the number of registered private vehicles which was at 15,000 based on the latest statistics from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) aggravated by the more than 10,000 public utility jeepneys and nearly 4,000 taxis given franchises by the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
ON employment, the local government still has no data on the total number of employed, underemployed and unemployed local residents, thus, the need for the city government to formulate appropriate strategies on how to undertake the development of a database for such purpose.
The survey had a total respondents of 3,000 or more or less 2% of the city’s voting population of approximately 150,000.
At least 60.65 percent of the respondents were females while 39.35 percent were males. 35.77 percent of the respondents were aged 31-45, 31.43 were aged 18-30, at least 23.62 percent belong to the age bracket 46-60 while 9.48 percent were 61 years old and above.
In terms of religious denomination, 74.92 percent of the respondents were Catholics, 10.13 percent were born again Christians, 6.91 percent were from other religious sects while 3.81 percent were either protestant or Baptists and 3.75 percent were members of the Iglesia ni Cristo and 0.85 percent were Islam.
In terms of sources of income, 38.96 percent of the respondents rely on their salaries and wages, 29.32 percent have their own businesses, 14.30 percent have remittances, 13.16 percent rely on other sources of income while 5.73 percent have pensions.
At least 34.4 percent of the respondents were high school graduates, 29.90 percent were college graduates, 26.12 percent some college, 7.85 percent were vocational graduates and 5.64 percent were elementary graduates.
In terms of ethnicity, 59.75 percent of the respondents were Ilocanos, 14.66 percent were Kankanaeys, 8.83 percent were Bontocs, 6.94 percent belong to other tribes, 4.20 percent were Ifugaos, 4.14 percent were Ibalois, 3.29 percent were Kapampangans, 2.28 were Warays or Ilongos and 1.76 percent were Cebuanos.
When asked “What traits should a leader possess?”, 70.75 percent of the respondents replied God-fearing, 35.11 percent answered humanitarian, 27.30 percent answered environmentalist, 22.13 percent replied compassionate, 20.65 percent claimed nationalistic, 16.19 percent replied conscientious, 12.77 percent answered enthusiastic, 11.11 percent replied authoritative, 9.74 answered social boldness, 7 percent cited opportunistic, 5.54 answered compulsiveness and 3 percent replied others.
When asked “What are the three qualifications of a local leader?”, at least 57.88 percent of the respondents claimed that educational attainment would be one primary basis for them in choosing a future leader in the upcoming elections while 48.53 percent will use as a basis the platform and advocacy of a leader in selecting who will lead the city in the future.
Based on the survey results, work experience which accounted for 38.53 percent of the respondents, will be the third criteria for the local electorate in choosing a leader while 27.20 percent of the respondents will make religious and social affiliation of aspiring leaders as the fourth basis in selecting their future leader.
Friendship was also one of the bases for the city’s electorate in selecting a leader as it accounted for 19.20 percent of the responses of the respondents in the said survey.
At least 60.55 percent of the respondents chose popularity as a basis in selecting their future leader while age, which accounted for 14.50 percent, was also being considered as one of the basis of the city’s electorate in choosing their leader.
Physical attributes, which garnered 14.10 percent of the respondents, will also play a key role in the selection of a leader while the family’s choice of a leader could also be one of the major factors in determining a leader after it was able to account for 13.13 percent of the respondents.
The family name of a leader is also considered as among the bases of the city’s electorate after it earned 10.65 percent of the respondents while wealth would be the last determinant of a leader based on the responses from those surveyed with 9.54 percent rating.
Perfeto Itliong, Jr., president of the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association in Baguio, Benguet and La Union (FEJODABBLU), said traffic in the city has worsened over the past several years because of the increase in the volume of private vehicles plus the fact that tourists visiting the city bring with them their cars that contribute to worsening traffic jams around the city which must be addressed by both the local government and the cooperation of the riding and motoring public themselves.
For visitors, Itliong advised them to leave their cars in the hotels and other transient houses where they are temporarily staying and take the public transport to go to the places they desire to visit in order to lessen the volume of vehicles plying the city’s streets that would result to lesser traffic.
By Dexter A. See