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Record rating for Aquino

Posted on September 07, 2012

PUBLIC SATISFACTION with President Benigno S.C. Aquino III has rebounded to the highest so far for his administration after falling to a personal low in May, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in a new report.

Mr. Aquino’s net satisfaction score rose 25 points to a "very good" +67 in an August poll from the "good" +42 three months earlier, with 77% of respondents saying they were satisfied with his performance, up from 63% in May. Those who said otherwise accounted for 10%, an improvement from the 21% previously.

The Aug. 24-27 survey, the results of which were made exclusive to BusinessWorld, showed Mr. Aquino’s best marks yet since he took office in mid-2010. His previous high was a "very good" +64 in November 2010.

His latest score compares to the personal bests of former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (+30, March 2004), Joseph Ejercito Estrada (+67, March 1999), Fidel V. Ramos (+69 , July 1993) and Corazon C. Aquino’s all-time high of +72 in October 1986.

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.

Malacañang welcomed the improvement, crediting it to the government’s reform initiatives. Analysts said respondents were apparently of the view that the government was "taking care" of the public’s most pressing concerns.

The President’s handling of recent events -- Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo’s death, the floods caused by monsoons and the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato C. Corona -- could have also raised his profile, they added.

Mr. Aquino saw his ratings improve in all areas, socioeconomic classes and gender, the SWS said.

His score went up by 41 points in Metro Manila to a "very good" +59 (73% satisfied and 14% dissatisfied), by 35 points in the Visayas to an "excellent" +76 (83% satisfied and 7% dissatisfied) and 29 points in Balance Luzon to +70 (78% satisfied and 8% dissatisfied). Mr. Aquino’s rating in Mindanao, meanwhile, was steady at a "very good" +61 (74% satisfied and 13% dissatisfied).

In rural and urban areas, his score was up 19 points to an "excellent" +70 (79% satisfied and 10% dissatisfied) in the former and by 30 points to a "very good" +65 (75% satisfied and 10% dissatisfied) in the latter.

Across all socioeconomic classes, Mr. Aquino saw a 53-point gain among the ABC to an "excellent" +78 (84% satisfied, 6% dissatisfied). It was 27 points higher at +68 (77% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied) among the class D or masa and up 12 points to a "very good" +62 (74% satisfied, 12% dissatisfied) among the class E.

Among the sexes, it was up 24 points to a "very good" +67 (77% satisfied, 9% dissatisfied) among men and up 26 points to "very good" +67 (78% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied) among women.

Commenting on the ratings report, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said "the consistently strong numbers affirm the President’s mandate for change; they are tangible indicators of the people’s support for the difficult yet necessary reforms the President has championed since day one."

Analysts, meanwhile, said the results would strengthen Mr. Aquino’s political capital.

"We can’t say that the problems are already solved but at least in the public’s perception, what is important is they feel hopeful the country is moving towards the right direction, towards progress," University of the Philippines (UP) political analyst Ramon C. Casiple said.

UP College of Public Administration and Governance professor Prospero E. de Vera III said the President should use his popularity to push important measures in Congress such as the "sin" tax reform, Freedom of Information and reproductive health bills.

"Without concrete results, good survey numbers only serve to win pissing contests between politicians," Mr. de Vera said.

The SWS’ third-quarter survey involved 1,200 adults nationwide and utilized sampling error margins of ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages.