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Satisfaction with gov’t stays ‘very good’

Posted on May 24, 2017

PUBLIC SATISFACTION with the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte stayed “very good” last quarter in a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that nevertheless bared erosion in the issues of defending territorial rights, fighting crime, providing jobs, “ensuring that no family will ever be hungry” and fighting inflation.

Public satisfaction with national government efforts to temper the general increase in prices of goods and services fell but remained ‘moderate.’
The First Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey -- conducted on March 25-28 via face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide and with sampling error margins of 3 points for national percentages, 4 for “Balance Luzon” as well as 6 points each for Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao -- found 75% of respondents “satisfied” with the national government, nine percent “dissatisfied” and 16% “undecided.”

Those results yielded a +66 (% “satisfied” minus % “dissatisfied”) net satisfaction with the national administration -- classified by the SWS as “very good” that, in turn, was five points more than the “very good” +61 (73% satisfied, 12% dissatisfied) logged in 2016’s fourth quarter.

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 same survey found that out of 15 performance issues comprising a Governance Report Card, the Duterte administration got a “very good” score in one subject, “good” ratings in 10 and “moderate” in four others.

The administration retained its “very good” rating in “helping the poor” at +63, albeit down three points from the +66 in the December survey.

Net ratings were “good” in:

“developing science and technology” at +49, one point and one grade lower than December’s +50;

“fighting terrorism” that gained six points to +47 from +41;

“defending the country’s territorial rights” at +46, down eight points and one grade from December’s “very good” +54;

“providing jobs” at +43, eight points down and a downgrade from the “very good” +51 in the fourth quarter of 2016;

“fighting crime” at +41, nine points less than and also a downgrade from December’s “very good” +50;

“eradicating graft and corruption” at +39, six points down from +45 in the fourth quarter of 2016;

“solving the problem of extrajudicial killings” at +37, three points less than December’s +40;

“reconciliation with communist rebels” at +32, two points more than December’s +30;

“foreign relations” at +46, unchanged from December and

“reconciliation with Muslim rebels” at +33, also unchanged the preceding quarter.

Net scores were “moderate” in:

“ensuring that no family will ever be hungry” at +22, down 12 points and one grade from the “good” +34 in December;

“fighting inflation” at +13, also down 12 points from the “moderate” +25 in the preceding quarter;

“recovering the ‘hidden wealth’ stolen by Marcos and his cronies” at +22, down two points from +24 in December; and

“resolving the traffic problem” at +21 -- the first time this issue was included in the survey.

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The national administration’s net satisfaction ratings remained “excellent” level in Mr. Duterte’s bailiwick, Mindanao, at +79, hardly moving from the +78 recorded in the December survey.

Net scores stayed “very good” elsewhere: +67 in the Visayas, nine points more than December’s +58; +62 in Metro Manila, also nine points more than the preceding survey’s +53; and +60 in “Balance Luzon,” edging up four points from +56 in 2016’s final quarter.

Net ratings also stayed “very good” across socioeconomic classes: +69 among respondents belonging to class E, seven points above December’s +62; +61 among those in class ABC, six points above the “very good” +55 in December; and +66 in class D or the “masa”, five points more than the +61 in 2016’s fourth quarter.

Sought for comment, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella said in a statement the latest SWS survey showed overall “growing public appreciation with the Duterte administration.”

“The people are beginning to feel the significant strides of the current government in the following areas, namely: helping the poor (which was rated ‘very good’), fighting terrorism, defending the country’s territorial rights, providing jobs, fighting crime, eradicating graft and corruption, solving the problem of extra judicial killings, reconciliation with Muslim rebels, and reconciliation with communist rebels (which were all rated ‘good’),” Mr. Abella said. -- R. F. Javil