News and Events

AIM RSN Policy Center holds Fear of Crime Forum

Posted: 2016-10-10
Category: Events


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Forum Agenda
Opinion Editorial
Press Release
Presentation Materials
Reassessing our Fear of Crime (JPFrancisco and EGarcia)
Comments from Dr. Epictetus Patalinghug

The Asian Institute of Management Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness (AIM RSN PCC) in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) held a forum on Reassessing our Fear of Crime: Determinants and Impact on 20 October 2016, at the Makati Diamond Residences, Makati City.

AIM RSN PCC Executive Director Jamil Paolo Francisco opened the forum by presenting the background of the Center's recent study on the fear of crime in Metro Manila.

The study was motivated by President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against criminality that has garnered wide support from the public, as well as by the National Economic Development Authority's AmBisyon 2040 program, which envisions all Filipinos having access to a life that is “stable, comfortable, and peaceful”. The objectives of the study also dovetail with AIM RSN PCC's thrust of evaluating the drivers of shared prosperity in the Philippines.

The study was comprised of a survey of 1,200 households in the 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in the first two weeks of August this year. The study looked into affective and cognitive fear of crime, two measures of the fear of crime as explored in the literature of international criminology. Among other questions, respondents were asked to gauge the likelihood of falling victim to pickpocketing, burglary, vehicle theft, rape, and physical violence.

Shortly after the introduction, AIM RSN PCC Economist Emmanuel M. Garcia discussed the results of the survey. In particular, 65 percent of respondents are unsure of their safety from crime in Metro Manila, with 70 percent being afraid to walk alone in the streets at night. Likewise, many Filipinos do not even feel safe in their own neighborhoods, with 31 percent uncertain about their safety and 36 percent afraid to brave the streets after dark. One in three respondents fears pickpocketing and burglary, while one in five fears vehicle theft, rape, and physical violence.

The Center also examined the determinants of the fear of crime, including an insecurity scale that captures insecurities faced by citizens in their daily lives, particularly insecurities about financial stability, employment, educational opportunities, health maintenance, sanitation and environment, disaster preparedness, and human rights protection. AIM RSN PCC found the insecurity scale to be a very strong predictor of both affective and cognitive fear of crime.

“Our findings show there is more to the fear of crime than meets the eye. This fear is fueled by economic, social, and political insecurities,” noted Dr. Francisco. “In fact, survey respondents identify job creation at 46 percent as more of a government priority than anti-crime and anti-drug action at 30 percent.”

A panel discussion followed the survey presentation, with two guests offering their reactions to the results and their own insights into crime issues. Dr. Epictetus Patalinghug, Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines Virata School of Business and experienced crime researcher, discussed his own findings on the subject and reviewed international literature on crime and its determinants. He noted that significant increases to the national budget for law enforcement would not result in 100 percent conviction rates.

Horacio Rodriguez, consultant to the Philippine National Police's Anti-Kidnapping Group and Senior Advisor to the Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order, recounted his kidnapping ordeal. He also discussed how his organization — made up entirely of kidnap victims — provides a support system for people who have gone through the same harrowing experience.

After a lively open forum moderated by AIM professor Francisco Roman, Jr., Benedikt Seeman, KAS Country Director, closed the forum with the recommendation that rather than stoking fears and insecurities, security issues should be addressed through rational discourse. 

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