Across the study strata, about one-third of the households ranked their access to services negatively, including access to education (22%), access to (35%) and quality of (32%) health care, and access to roads (37%). Respondents in Maguindanaoranked on average all services more negatively than any other strata. Disaggregated by settlement status, respondents who were displaced at the time of the survey were more likely to rank services negatively compared to others, with the exception of access to roads. Nearly the same percentage of households who were displaced at the time of survey and thosereturned homefound the road to be bad of very bad (47% and 55%, respectively).
Two-thirds (67%) of the sampled households had children aged 6-12 years, and among them nearly all had children enrolled in primary school (97%). However, 36 percent of the households reported that their school-enrolled children missed school for at least a week within the 6 months prior to the survey. Sickness was the main reason to miss school, followed by poor access (long commuting distance – 19%) and children not wanting to go to school (15%). Commuting time (distance) to school was most lengthy in Maguindanao, were travel time to school averaged 36 minutes, about twice longer than in any other area. This likely explains the poor rating of access to education in that area.
The proportion of households with children missing school was similar across settlement status. However, children in households displaced at the time of the survey were furthest away from the school (33 minutes on average) followed by those who returned home to their place of origin (26 minutes). Households that were never displaced or resettled in a new location were closest to school (respectively 14 minutes and 15 minutes).
When needed, most households tended to seek services from public hospital (43%), or a health center (25%). Walking time to the facility was significantly higher than that to their children schools, with an average of 40 minutes’ walk, and up to 73 minutes in Maguindanao. Households that returned home reported on average the longest walking distance to a health facility(61 minutes as opposed to 27 for those never displaced).
The survey examined levels of trust towards 26 groups and/or institutions among the population. For each group or institution, respondents were asked to rank their level of trust on a 5-point scale, from not at all [trusting] to extremely [trusting]. Figure12 presents the aggregate of the ratings for moderate, high and extremely high levels of trust. In general,respondent trusted their clan (89%), community (85%), ethnic group (82%), or people of the same religion (87%). Levels of trust were significantly lower towards people from other clans (62%), other ethnic group (56%), or other religions (53%). Several professional categories were assessed, showing high levels of trust toward teachers (82%), nurses and doctors (84%), and local NGOs (79%) Foreign assistance agencies (72%) and traders each scored 72 percent.
There were important differences across strata and settlement groups:
Levels of trust toward various institutions were also examined. A majority of respondents indicated that they trusted thebarangay officials (82%) and barangaytanod (71%), as well as their mayor (93%), governor (92%), and more generally, national government officials (87%). Over two-thirds of the respondents reported that they trusted the police (72%), and the AFP (68%). Over half the total population in the surveyed area also indicatedtrusting the ARMM government officials (62%) and Civilian Volunteer Organisations (CVOs - 59%).
Again there were important differences in the level of reported trust among various institutions across strata and settlement status.
The survey examined households’ membership in organized groupsor associations to measure their level of engagement with their community. Most frequently, respondents indicated being part of a religious association (38%), a farmer association (24%), a school committee (19%), a town village committee (16%), a sport’s team (15%), and/or a women’s association (15%). Other groupmemberships include political associations (11%), cultural troops (7%) and youth groups (6%). While group membership did not vary significantly based on settlement status, respondents in Lanao del Sur tended to report participation in groups and associations less frequently than elsewhere.
Several questions were posed to examine respondents’ participation in and perception of electoral processes. The objective was to assess how much respondents are engaged in political processes. The large majority of respondents indicated having voted during the previous municipal (95%), general (95%) and party-list elections (95%). A majority of respondents further ranked these elections as having been completely or mostly free and fair (90% for all three elections). Participation rates and perception of the elections were similar across strata and settlement status. The only exception concerned theBarangays elections in Lanao del Sur, where 52 percent indicated voting in the last Barangay elections. Among the 48 percent of respondentswho did not vote, 71 percent cited that there had been no elections held in their Barangay.
In addition to elections, the survey examined respondents’ participation in public affairs at the local level. The first set of question asked about their awareness of regular meetings held in the Barangay. The majority of respondents (86%)indicated that their Barangay held regular meetings. Among them, 89 percent indicated that a meeting had been held in the last 6 months and among this subgroup, 84 percent indicated that a household member had participated in the meeting. In other words, 64 percent of all the households had a member who participated in a Barangay meeting in the 6 months prior to the survey. About the same proportion of respondents (56%) believed they had the ability to contribute to decision in their Barangays. Fewer believed they had the ability to contribute to decisions in their municipality (40%), or in Mindanao in general (31%).
Across strata, the proportion of households who participated in a Barangay meeting in the last 6 months prior to the survey was highest in Cotabato City (82%), North Cotabato (79%), and Sultan Kudarat (78%). Inversely, it was lowest in Lanao del Sur (48%) and Maguindanao (53%). In terms of settlement status, just 33 percent of the households displaced at the time of the survey had participated in a Barangay meeting. The proportion was 45 percent among those resettled in a new location. Over half the households who returned home had participated in such meeting (55%) compared to 73 percent of the households that were never displaced. Despite the important differences in the frequency of participation in Barangay meetings, the proportion of households who believed they had the ability to contribute to decisions in their Barangay, municipality, or in Mindanao in general was similar across settlement status groups.