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Trust in Duterte ‘excellent’; cracks show

Posted on December 22, 2016

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte maintained his “excellent” trust rating among Filipinos this quarter, despite palpable drops in Metro Manila and among respondents belonging to the country’s top socioeconomic class, according to a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) report.

The Fourth Quarter 2016 Social Weather Survey -- conducted on Dec. 3-6 via face-to-face interviews with 1,500 adults nationwide and with sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages, ±4 for “Balance Luzon” as well as ±6 points each for Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao -- found 81% of adult Filipinos with “much trust” in Mr. Duterte, nine percent with “little trust” and 10% “undecided.”

That yielded a net trust rating of +72 (% “much trust” minus % “little trust”), classified by SWS as “excellent.”

The SWS classifies net trust ratings of at least +70 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 fourth-quarter result is four points less than the “excellent” +76 (83% “much trust,” eight percent “little trust”) Mr. Duterte got in the September survey.

He also bagged an “excellent” +79 (84% “much trust,” five percent “little trust”) in the survey conducted days before his inauguration on June 30.

SWS said in a summary of its survey findings that its question on trust rating differs from that on satisfaction rating as the former gauges public trust in a personality in general, while the latter asks about public satisfaction with an individual’s performance in relation to his position or duty.

The SWS attributed the four-point drop of Mr. Duterte’s overall trust rating to declines in Metro Manila, Mindanao and the Visayas that offset a steady score in “Balance Luzon.”

Mr. Duterte’s trust rating in Mindanao stayed “excellent” but slipped seven points to +85 in December from September’s +92.

His rating in “Balance Luzon” steadied at a “very good” +69 in December from September.

However, it fell by one grade and 11 points in Metro Manila to a “very good” +65 in December from September’s “excellent” +76.

It also fell by a grade and four points in the Visayas to a “very good”+69 in December from an “excellent” +73 in September.

Mr. Duterte’s net trust rating stayed “excellent” in urban areas, hardly moving to +73 from +75 in September, and in rural areas, which nevertheless saw the score fall six points to +71 from +77.

Among socioeconomic classes, the chief executive’s score was excellent in classes “D” and “E.”

Respondents belonging to class “D,” however, gave him a +78 rating that was five points down from September’s +73, while the score among those in “E” rose one grade and five points to +72 from a “very good” +67 in September.

Meanwhile, net trust rating from “ABC” respondents dropped one grade and 13 points to a “very good” +59 in December from September’s “excellent” +72.

By gender, Mr. Duterte’s net trust ratings stayed “excellent” among male respondents, slipping two points to +75 from +77, but fell by a grade and five points to a “very good” +69 from an “excellent” +74 among women.

By educational attainment, the President’s net trust score stayed “excellent” among college and high school graduates, though down six points each, as well as remained “very good” and hardly moved among respondents who were elementary and non-elementary graduates.

Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar said in a mobile phone reply that the results will encourage the administration “to pursue with greater resolve the... goal of a Philippines free from the drug scourge, crime incidents and malfeasance in public service.”

Sought separately for comment, University of Santo Tomas political science professor Edmund S. Tayao said that the four-point drop in Mr. Duterte’s overall trust rating is “insignificant,” noting “it’s as if nothing happened because, statistically, it is still within the margin of error.”

“It’s safe to say that the President’s popularity remains the same,” Mr. Tayao said in a telephone interview.

But he said the noticeable drops in net trust ratings in Metro Manila and class “ABC” reflect “economic side” concerns.

“If the government fails to address [issues in] economic development -- meaning the increasing price of oil and the continuing strengthening of dollar against the peso -- it will eventually impact on the day-to-day lives of the ordinary people and they might reconsider their political support for the President.” -- Raynan F. Javil

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