Duterte tops Pulse Asia trust ratings survey

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte remains the most trusted among the four top national officials, according to Pulse Asia’s December 2018 Nationwide Survey on the performance and trust ratings of key government officials.

But Mr. Duterte’s ally, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is the least trusted top official, according to the survey.

Released on Friday, Jan. 11, the Pulse Asia survey results for the month of December last year showed that Mr. Duterte’s trust rating was at 76%, up by four percentage points from his rating in September.

The trust ratings of Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo (56%) and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III (66%) did not change since the September survey.

The trust rating of Ms. Arroyo was 21%, up by two percentage points from her 19% trust rating in September.

The number Filipinos who distrust Ms. Arroyo has increased by two percentage points to 45% from 43% in September.

Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte’s distrust rating has decreased by three percentage points to 6% from 9% in September. The distrust ratings of Ms. Robredo and Mr. Sotto remained at 17% and 6%, respectively.

The same survey, which was conducted from Dec. 14 to 21 last year with a sample of 1,800 representative adults (18 years old and above) nationwide, showed that the approval rating of Mr. Duterte’s performance has increased by six percentage points to 81% from September’s 75%.

The Approval rating of Ms. Robredo rose by 1 percentage point in December from the previous 61%. From 73%, Mr. Sotto’s approval rating rose to 74%. Ms. Arroyo, for her part, got 27%.

“Most Filipinos express appreciation for the performance of President Rodrigo R. Duterte (81%), Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo (62%), and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III (74%),” said the report. “In contrast, a big plurality of Filipinos (43%) are critical of the work done by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Levels of indecision regarding the performance of these national government officials range from 13% for President Duterte to 30% for House Speaker Macapagal-Arroyo. Between September and December 2018, the only notable movement in these figures is the increase in the approval rating of President Duterte (+6 percentage points).”

Pulse Asia noted that there was no comparative performance data available for Ms. Arroyo because she was not included in the performance question in the September 2018 survey. She assumed the House leadership on July 23, 2018, less than three months before the survey was conducted.

“Just as President Duterte scores majority approval and trust ratings across geographic areas (69% to 96% and 67% to 91%, respectively) and socio-economic groupings (78% to 87% and 74% to 82%, respectively), Senate President Sotto also has the approval and trust of most Filipinos in the different geographic areas (66% to 77% and 60% to 73%, respectively) and socio-economic classes (72% to 74% and 63% to 68%, respectively),” the report said.

As for Ms. Robredo, the Pulse Asia said she “registers majority approval and trust ratings in most geographic areas (64% to 70% and 55% to 60%, respectively) and Classes D and E (61% to 72% and 55% to 62%, respectively). The latter also has a majority approval rating in Class ABC (56%). However, less than half of those in this socio-economic grouping trust the Vice-President (49%).”

On Ms. Arroyo, “the only majority figure obtained by the House Speaker is her 52% distrust rating in Metro Manila. Big pluralities to near majorities in the rest of Luzon (43% and 46%, respectively), the Visayas (47% and 49%, respectively), and Class D (44% and 46%, respectively) are critical of and distrust House Speaker Macapagal-Arroyo. Around the same percentages either disapprove of or are undecided about the latter’s performance in Metro Manila (46% versus 38%) and Class ABC (39% versus 32%) while she records essentially the same distrust and indecision figures in Mindanao (37% versus 38%), Class ABC (47% versus 31%), and Class E (42% versus 40%),” the report states.

“Public assessment of the lawmaker’s performance is split three ways in Mindanao and Class ABC with 29% to 33% being appreciative of what she did in the past quarter, 29% to 32% expressing ambivalence on the matter, and 38% to 39% having a negative opinion about it.”

Sought for comment, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar said in a statement: “The latest Pulse Asia Survey, which gives President Rodrigo Roa Duterte an 81% Approval and 76% Trust Rating, is a testament to how this administration is attuned to the needs of the greater majority. This government will continue to focus on the goal of giving a ‘comfortable life for all’ rid of hard drugs, criminality and corruption.”

For her part, Ms. Arroyo said: “Those trust ratings are not new to me. Remember, I was pilloried very much when I was president so I haven’t done much to overcome that because I just have to do my work. My thrust is to concentrate on my work. I already said it the last time, I am not a stranger to those kinds of ratings.”

From September to December 2018, the Pulse Asia survey results showed that gains in public approval were experienced by the Senate (69%, up by six percentage points), the Lower House (66%, up by 10 percentage points), and the Supreme Court (64%, up by 12 percentage points).

“In terms of the trustworthiness of these entities, the only marked movements are the: (1.) increase in trust ratings of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court in the Visayas (both at +11 percentage points); (2.) gain in public trust experienced by the High Court in Class D (+7 percentage points); and (3.) drop in indecision figures recorded by the Supreme Court in the Visayas (-11 percentage points) and Class D (-9 percentage points),” the report said. — Arjay L. Balinbin