By Kathryn Mae P. Tubadeza, Reporter

Binay surges in Pulse Asia performance, trust scores

Posted on January 07, 2016

PRESIDENT Benigno S. C. Aquino III earned the highest approval and trust ratings in the latest Pulse Asia survey on the top five government officials, but Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay obtained the biggest improvement in the performance and trust scores.

Pulse Asia Research, Inc.’s December 2015 Ulat ng Bayan Survey on the performance and trust ratings of the top five officials and on performance ratings of key government institutions -- conducted from Dec. 4 to 11, among 1,800 registered voters nationwide -- showed Mr. Aquino’s performance rating increasing by one point to 55% in December and trust rating going up by four points to 53%.

Mr. Binay’s performance rating climbed nine points to 52% while his trust rating rose by ten points to 49%.

Pulse Asia said public opinion concerning the work of the top five government officials remains “generally unchanged” between September and December last year.

It noted that only Mr. Binay posted changes in his overall ratings -- a nine-point increase in his approval score and a six-point decline in his indecision figure.

According to Pulse Asia, Mr. Binay “enjoys gains in his approval rating in the rest of Luzon (eight points) and Visayas (13 points).”

Only Messrs. Aquino, Binay and Senate President Franklin M. Drilon (51%) enjoyed majority approval ratings in December.

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Pulse Asia said indecision is the predominant sentiment concerning the work done by House Speaker Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr., who got a 29% approval rating, alongside 17% disapproval and 51% undecided.

Nearly half of Filipinos are also unable to say if they approve or disapprove of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno’s performance, with 47% undecided respondents.

Across geographic areas and socioeconomic classes, Mr. Aquino posted majority approval ratings in the Visayas (68%), Mindanao (62%), and Class D (52%) and Class E (67%).

Pulse Asia said most of those in the rest of Luzon (55%), Mindanao (52%), and Class E (66%) are appreciative of Mr. Binay’s performance.

Mr. Drilon got majority approval scores from those in the rest of Luzon (52%), Visayas (60%), Class D (51%), and Class E (52%).

In terms of trust ratings, Mr. Drilon got a near majority score of 47% while one in two Filipinos or 50% were unable to say if they trust or distrust Ms. Sereno.

On the other hand, Mr. Belmonte got majority indecision ratings in the rest of Luzon (53%), Visayas (61%), and Classes D and E (both at 52%).

Pulse Asia noted that ambivalence is the majority sentiment toward the trustworthiness of Mr. Belmonte.

Mr. Aquino obtained majority trust ratings from Visayas (64%), Mindanao (61%), and those in Class D (51%) and Class E (64%).

Two majority trust scores are recorded by Mr. Binay across geographic areas and socioeconomic classes -- 52% in the rest of Luzon and 62% in Class E.

“Public assessment of vice-presidential trustworthiness is split three-ways in Class ABC (31% trust, 28% indecision and 42% distrust),” Pulse Asia said.

Mr. Drilon got his only majority trust rating in Visayas (57%).

Almost the same trust and indecision figures are posted by Mr. Drilon in the rest of Luzon (46% and 42%, respectively), Mindanao (41% and 46%, respectively), Class ABC (43% and 39%, respectively) and Class E (46% and 42%, respectively).

Most of those in the rest of Luzon (58%), the Visayas (58%), Class D (56%) and Class E (52%) “express ambivalence” on the matter of trusting or distrusting Mr. Belmonte, Pulse said.

Majority indecision ratings were also recorded for Ms. Sereno in the rest of Luzon (54%) and Visayas (52%).

According to Pulse Asia, in the different geographic areas and socioeconomic classes, Mr. Aquino obtained improvement in his trust ratings in Class E, while Mr. Binay recorded gains in his trust scores in the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Class E.

Pulse Asia noted that not one of the key institutions of government obtained a majority approval rating in December last year.

“Big pluralities to near majorities of Filipinos express appreciation for the work done by the Senate (47%) and the Supreme Court (45%),” the polling group said.

The House of Representatives got the same approval and indecision ratings (40% and 43%).

“During the period September to December 2015, the only notable movements in these institutions’ ratings are the increase in the indecision rating of the Supreme Court and the drop in the Senate’s disapproval score,” Pulse Asia noted.

Among the “key developments” cited by Pulse Asia in connection with the December survey are the filing of certificates of candidacies; increase in the power rates of Manila Electric Co.; the House of Representatives’ passage of the bill that would increase salaries of government workers; observance of the sixth anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre; the National Bureau of Investigation’s findings on the alleged “tanim-bala” scam at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport; conclusion of the Philippines’ legal arguments before the Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding the maritime dispute with China; and the Philippines’ hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

Pulse Asia said its survey has a ± 2% error margin nationwide at the 95% confidence level, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±3% for the rest of Luzon and ±5% for each of Visayas and Mindanao, all out 95% confidence level.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin S. Lacierda noted a reversal of the trend in the Pulse Asia survey.

“Ordinarily, if you look at the historical surveys on the last term of a president, normally the approval ratings go down. For one reason or another, it happens. In this President, you see a reversal of that trend. It has been marked by consistent high approval ratings and certainly we welcome that,” Mr. Lacierda said.

“It shows the continued trust of the people on the programs and the efforts of President Aquino and in his principle that no one should be left behind,” he added.

Sough for comment Edmund S. Tayao, political science professor at the University of Santo Tomas, noted that “not much issue” was categorically identified with Mr. Aquino during the survey period.

For Mr. Binay, Mr. Tayao said “it’s not necessarily that people have trusted him again or forgotten the issues because he has yet to face the issues.”

Mr. Binay’s spokesperson for political affairs Rico Paolo R. Quicho said in a statement on Wednesday: “As the Vice-President welcomes the increase in his performance and trust ratings, he vows to vigorously push for his pro-poor agenda and tirelessly talk directly to the people.”