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Aquino rating lowest since taking office

Posted on July 14, 2014

PUBLIC SATISFACTION with President Benigno S. C. Aquino III has fallen to its lowest since he took office four years ago, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said, with expectations that his term will end up a success also down markedly.

Source: Malacañang Photo Bureau
Results of a June 27-30 nationwide survey had 55% of respondents saying they were satisfied with Mr. Aquino’s performance and 30% declaring otherwise, for a “moderate” net rating of +25.

It marked a steep 20-point fall from March’s “good” +45 (66% satisfied, 21% dissatisfied) and was also well below his previous personal record low, hit in May 2002, of a “good” +42.

The June survey also found 29% saying Mr. Aquino -- whose six-year term ends in 2016 -- “will be successful,” 21% disagreed and 50% said “it is too early to tell.” This put his net expectation score at +8, down 19 points from the +27 recorded a year earlier.

A Palace official said the drops could be linked to the public’s “rising expectations,” while a political analyst said the fallout over a controversial government spending plan could “sink” Mr. Aquino, who is scheduled to speak on the issue this evening.

Mr. Aquino started his term in mid-2010 with a “very good” +60 rating (recorded September of that year), hitting a personal best of +67 (also “very good”) in August 2012. Prior to the plunge to +25, his net scores dipped below +50 only six times in 15 quarterly surveys.

The SWS classifies net satisfaction scores of +70 and above as “excellent”; +50 to +69, “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”; -70 and below, “execrable.”

Mr. Aquino’s scores hit personal record lows in all areas. It stayed “good” in the Visayas but was down 10 points to +39, fell by one grade each to a “good” +40 (down 15 points) in Mindanao and to a “moderate” +16 (down 25 points) in Balance Luzon, and plunged by two grades to a “neutral” +6 (down 27 points) in Metro Manila.

Rural net satisfaction stayed “good” but was down 14 points to +35, while in urban areas it fell one grade to a “moderate” +15 (down 26 points) -- both also personal record lows.

By socioeconomic class Mr. Aquino’s score stayed “good” among the ABC but fell seven points to +32. It also stayed “good” among the E but fell 13 points to +31, another personal record low. It fell to “moderate” from “good” among the D or masa, hitting +22 -- down 23 points for another personal record low.

By gender, the President scored personal record lows among both men and women, falling by one grade to “moderate.” Among women, it fell by 15 points to +28 and among men, it was down 25 points to +21.

Expectations that Mr. Aquino will be a successful president also fell in all areas, the SWS noted.

In Metro Manila this was down 21 points to -7, a new low. It fell by 24 points in Balance Luzon to +3, declined by 22 points to +12 in the Visayas and by eight points to +22 in Mindanao. All were new personal record lows, with the exception of Mindanao where it was just one point above the existing floor.

Among those who say Mr. Aquino will be a successful president, meanwhile, those satisfied with his performance fell to 82% from 91% while the dissatisfied rose to 10% from 4%, lowering his net satisfaction rating in this category by 16 points to a still “excellent” +71.

In the “too early to tell” camp, satisfaction fell to 49% from 71% while dissatisfaction rose to 31% from 14%, bringing Mr. Aquino’s net score 39 points down to a “moderate” +18. Last year it was a “very good” +57.

Among those claiming that he will be an unsuccessful president, satisfaction fell to 30% from 49% and dissatisfaction rose to 56% from 30%, bringing his net rating down 46 points to a “poor” -26 from the “moderate” +20 recorded a year ago.

Asked to comment, Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr., said: “With rising expectations from the people, government must also level up and improve significantly on the delivery of public services and institution of reforms.”

Analyst Ramon C. Casiple, meanwhile, said the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) issue had weighed on Mr. Aquino, whom he described as having “lost his Teflon immunity” following the government’s slow response to the devastation caused late last year by super-typhoon Yolanda.

“DAP, DAP, DAP ... DAP will sink him if he can’t explain it to the people,” Mr. Casiple said, referring to a stimulus spending program ruled as unconstitutional earlier this month by the Supreme Court.

He noted that the DAP -- “the worst political crisis so far that the administration has suffered” -- has been on people’s minds since late last year, when the government was forced to halt the program following allegations that some funds were used to influence legislators.

The SWS’ June 27-30 survey involved face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide. The sampling error margins are ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages. -- with a report from ICCD