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Shaping the Public Perception Toward Local Authorities: The Role of Perceived Social, Economic, and Political Insecurities

The Philippines is currently experiencing increased police presence and intensified policing programs with President Duterte’s declaration of war against criminality and illegal drugs front lined by the Philippine National Police (PNP). While the country’s index crime rate is reportedly declining because of these heightened policing programs, this does not necessarily translate to a more positive Filipino public perception toward the police and other local law enforcement authorities. Using the Crime Risk Perceptions Survey of 1,200 households in Metro Manila, this study attempted to probe the individual and contextual level variables that potentially influence the Filipino perception toward the local authorities – police and local community brigade or barangay tanod. The findings of the paper showed that perceived insecurity exhibited negative impact on perceived satisfaction of respondents toward the performance of local authorities across all the five models. This result corroborates Easton’s (1965 cited in Brandl et al 1994) and Cao et al (1998, 2001, 2005) frameworks that perceptions toward the police is greatly determined by perceptions toward other institutions in the society.


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