By Rosemarie A. Zamora
THE PUBLIC’s satisfaction with the national government stayed “very good” last quarter under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, with noticeably better marks for providing jobs, defending the country’s territorial rights and fighting inflation, according to results of a June Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The second-quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey — conducted on June 23-26 via face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide and with sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages, as well as ±6 points each for Metro Manila, “Balance Luzon,” the Visayas and Mindanao — found 75% satisfied with the national government, 13% undecided and 11% dissatisfied.
That yielded a net satisfaction rating of +64 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied), classified by the SWS as “very good” even as it was two points less than March’s “very good” +66.
The SWS classifies net satisfaction 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 June survey resulted in a net satisfaction rating of “very good” +64 in the first four quarters of the Duterte administration, SWS noted. That compares to four-quarter average scores of a “very good” +55 under Benigno S. C. Aquino III, Gloria M. Arroyo’s “moderate” +19, Joseph E. Estrada’s “moderate” +29 and Fidel V. Ramos’s “moderate” +29.
Sought for comment Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella said in a mobile phone reply: “We believe that the significant gains of the Duterte administration are now being felt and given due recognition by our people as they rated the government ‘very good’ in the areas of helping the poor, protecting human rights, defending the country’s territorial rights and providing jobs.”
Ramon C. Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), noted in a separate text that “[t]his time, there is a palpable perception of positive impact of inclusiveness among the majority of the people,” while Antonio G.M. La Viña, former dean of the Ateneo School of Government, said “[i]t seems that people are feeling good results economically in their personal financial and job situation.”
The national government got “very good” marks in four out of 15 issues, namely: helping the poor, protecting human rights, defending the country’s territorial rights and providing jobs.
It got “good” scores in fighting terrorism, foreign relations, fighting crime, eradicating graft and corruption, solving extrajudicial killings, reconciling with Moro rebels, ensuring that no family will ever go hungry and reconciling with communist rebels.
It got “moderate” grades in recovering the hidden wealth of the late former president Ferdinand E. Marcos and his cronies, resolving traffic and fighting inflation.
The government got markedly better scores for providing jobs (up eight points to +51), defending territorial rights (five points more at +51) and fighting inflation (up 11 points to +24).
Grouped by geographical location, responses stayed “excellent” in Mr. Duterte’s bailiwick, Mindanao, though down seven points at +72 from +79 in the March survey.
IPER’s Mr. Casiple said the declaration of martial law over all of Mindanao right after militants aligned with the Islamic State took over Marawi City on May 23, lack of progress in the proposed Bangsamoro basic law that is designed to lay the groundwork for lasting peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front — the country’s two main Moro rebel groups, and a “breakdown of peace talks” with communist rebels “have all affected the Mindanao ratings”.
Responses remained “very good” elsewhere, though down 11 points to +56 in the Visayas, five points more at +67 in Metro Manila and up three points at +63 elsewhere in Luzon.
Scores also remained “very good” across socioeconomic classes, though down six points to +55 among respondents in the “ABC” segment, two points less at +64 among those in “D” and a point less at +68 among those belonging to “E” class.