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Government rating drops anew

Posted on February 03, 2014

PUBLIC SATISFACTION with the Aquino administration dropped for a second quarter in row as last year ended, but at "very good" its rating remains significantly higher compared to previous governments.

Results of a December 11-16 Social Weather Stations (SWS)survey had 71% of respondents satisfied, 10% ambivalent and 19% dissatisfied with the administration’s general performance. The resulting +51 net score was down from September’s "very good" +56 and the record +66 notched in June.

The Aquino government’s lowest score to date is a "good" +44, hit in May 2012. The highest for a previous administration is a "good" +36, recorded in November 1998 during the term of then President Joseph E. Estrada.

The SWS classifies net satisfaction ratings 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"; and -70 and below, "execrable."

Rated with regard to 13 issues, the government scored "very good" on two, "good" on three, "moderate" on three, "neutral on two, "poor" on two and "very bad" on one.

A Palace official said the government had to work harder in the remaining years of President Benigno S. C. Aquino III’s term.

Overall satisfaction posted declines in all areas except Mindanao, where the Aquino administration’s net rating rose by 11 points to a still "very good" +64.

It also stayed "very good" in the Visayas at +51, but was down by nine, and in Balance Luzon at +52 where the drop was a narrower seven points. The fall was the steepest in Metro Manila: 15 points to a still "good" +30.

Scores also declined across all socioeconomic classes but remained "very good." It fell by eight points to +54 among the ABC, by five to +51 among the D or masa, and by four to +50 among the class E.

With regard to specific issues, "very good" scores were recorded for:

• defending the country’s territorial rights (+52, up from the "good" +49 last September); and

• foreign relations (+50, up from +41).

"Good" ratings, meanwhile, were obtained for:

• helping the poor (+49, down from a "very good" +54);

• promoting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (+44 from +48); and

• fighting terrorism (+33 from +35).

Issues scoring "moderate" were:

• reconciliation with Communist rebels (+21 from +27);

• reconciliation with Muslim rebels (+21 from +25); and

• fighting crimes (+18, down from a "good" +35).

Accounting for "neutral" were:

• eradicating graft and corruption" (+8 from a "moderate" +23); and

• ensuring that no family will be left hungry" (+2 from +9).

"Poor" scores were recorded for:

• fighting inflation" (-10 from a "neutral" +8); and

• ensuring that oil companies don’t take advantage of oil prices (-14 from a "neutral" zero three months earlier).

A "very bad" -51 rating was seen for "resolving the Maguindanao massacre case with justice", which when last tested in March 2013 returned a "poor" -26.

Asked to comment, Communications Secretary Herminio "Sonny" B. Coloma, Jr. said: "Mindful that there are only two and a half years within which to implement priority programs ... we will work doubly hard to deliver..."

The Dec. 11-16 survey utilized face-to-face interviews of 1,550 adults nationwide. The sampling error margins were ±2.5% for national, ±4% for the Visayas, and ±6% for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao percentages. -- Mikhail Franz E. Flores