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Aquino satisfaction best since Q1 2014

Posted on September 17, 2015

PUBLIC SATISFACTION with President Benigno S. C. Aquino III hit its highest point in one-and-a-half years this quarter, fueled by significant improvements in most geographical areas except Mindanao and across socioeconomic classes except ABC, according to results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The Third Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey -- conducted on Sept. 2-5 among 1,200 adults nationwide and with sampling error margins of ±3 percentage points for national percentages and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, “Balance of Luzon,” the Visayas and Mindanao -- found 64% satisfied, 14% undecided and 22% dissatisfied with Mr. Aquino’s performance, taking his net satisfaction rating (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) up to a “good” +41 that was 11 points above June’s “good” +30 and the highest since the “good” +45 logged in March last year.

SWS classifies net satisfaction ratings of +70 and above as “excellent”; +50 to +69 as “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”, +9 to -- 9, “neutral”; -- 10 to -- 29, “poor”; -- 30 to -- 49, “bad”; -- 50 to -- 69, “very bad”; as well as -- 70 and below as “execrable.” The nonprofit survey group considers movement from one classification to another as either an “upgrade” or “downgrade.”

Compared to June, gross satisfaction with Mr. Aquino rose seven points from 57%, gross undecided slipped a point from 15% and gross dissatisfaction fell five points from 27%.

Sought for comment, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr. in a text message yesterday described the results as “a clear vote of confidence on the Aquino administration’s good governance advocacy that has brought about significant reforms... going into the last nine months of the President’s term.”

“Our people have come to terms with and acknowledged the tangible results of ‘Daang Matuwid’ in terms of economic stability and improved quality of life,” Mr. Coloma said, referring to the ruling party’s official catchphrase of a “straight path” cut by reforms.

Mr. Aquino’s 11-point increase in overall net satisfaction rating was driven by increases of 16 points in “Balance Luzon,” 15 points in the Visayas and 10 points in Metro Manila, combined with a steady score in Mindanao, SWS noted in the summary of its survey findings.

His net satisfaction stayed “good” in “Balance Luzon” at +46 (67% satisfied minus 21% dissatisfied) in this month’s survey, up by 16 points from +30 (56% satisfied, 26% dissatisfied) in June. For areas in Luzon outside Metro Manila, September’s showing was the best since the “very good” +54 logged in December 2013.

It rose a grade to a “very good” +50 (67% satisfied minus 17% dissatisfied) in the Visayas, 15 points more than the “good” +35 (62% satisfied, 27% dissatisfied) recorded in June. The region’s latest result was the same as that in December 2013 and was the best since the “excellent” +74 seen in June that same year.

Net satisfaction in Metro Manila rose by 10 points and one grade to a “moderate” +18 (53% satisfied minus 35% dissatisfied) this month from June’s “neutral” +8 (46% satisfied, 38% dissatisfied). The National Capital Region’s rating -- the lowest this month among the areas covered -- was the best since the “moderate” +23 logged in December last year.

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It stayed “good” in Mindanao, at +39 (61% satisfied minus 22% dissatisfied) in September, similar to the +39 (63% satisfied, 23% dissatisfied, rounded off) recorded in June. The island’s June and September results were the best since the “good” +46 seen in December last year.

Net satisfaction with Mr. Aquino in urban areas rose by one grade to a “good” +32 (59% satisfied minus 27% dissatisfied) in this month’s survey, up by three points from June’s “moderate” +29 (56% satisfied, 27% dissatisfied). September’s rating was the best since the “good” +37 logged in December last year.

Rural net satisfaction stayed “good” at +46 (66% satisfied, 20% dissatisfied), up by 15 points from +31 (59% satisfied, 28% dissatisfied) in June. It was the best showing since March 2014’s “good” +49.

Mr. Aquino’s net satisfaction rating also improved among the lower classes, results of the latest survey showed.

It rose a grade to a “good” +39 (63% satisfied minus 23% dissatisfied, correctly rounded) among respondents in class D, or the masa, this month, 12 points more than June’s “moderate” +27 (57% satisfied, 29% dissatisfied). This month’s rating in this class was the highest since the “good” +45 of March last year.

Net satisfaction stayed “good” among those in class E at +49 (67% satisfied minus 18% dissatisfied) in September, up by 15 points from +34 (58% satisfied, 23% dissatisfied, correctly rounded) in June. The latest result was the best since December 2013’s “very good” +57.

It stayed “good” among ABC respondents at +44 (69% satisfied minus 25% dissatisfied) in September, similar to June’s +44 (64% satisfied, 20% dissatisfied). The latest showing in this class was the best since the “good” +49 seen in December last year.

Describing the improvement in public satisfaction with Mr. Aquino as a “surprise” due to the lack of compelling positive developments during the survey period, University of Santo Tomas political science professor Edmund S. Tayao said in a telephone interview that “[t]he traffic in Metro Manila will definitely figure” in the fourth quarter survey, “not to mention, of course, the disapproval of the president of the proposed measures to reduce income based taxes.”

“Unless... there is a particular measure that will rally significant public support, I don’t see any reason why it (satisfaction rating) would increase...” -- with inputs from Alden M. Monzon