MOST Filipinos still trust and approve of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the latest survey by Pulse Asia, despite controversies surrounding the administration in recent months.
The poll, conducted from December 6 to 11 among 1,200 respondents nationwide, showed the President’s approval and trust ratings at both at 83 percent in the last quarter of 2016.
These were slightly lower than the +76 trust rating that Duterte received in September and the +79 that respondents gave him days before he took his oath of office on June 30.
Despite the decline, Pulse Asia said the changes in the President’s ratings were “marginal…at the national level and across geographic areas and socioeconomic classes.”
It found that Duterte had the biggest trust rating trust from respondents in Mindanao, where he got an “excellent” +85 score. The score was however down seven points from +92 in September.
Duterte got a “very good” trust rating of +69 in “Balance Luzon” and in the Visayas. This was the same score that Duterte got in Balance Luzon in September, but was down four points from his previous rating in the Visayas.
Responses per socio-economic class also showed he remains popular with the Filipino masses, rating higher in terms of approval and trust among Classes D (84 percent and 83 percent) and E (both at 85 percent) compared with those in the ABC (69 percent and 72 percent, respectively).
Duterte kept his high ratings even after his administration was confronted with several issues, which could have affected people’s opinion. These included the resignation of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo from the Cabinet, the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in his jail cell, as well as hearings at the House and Senate regarding the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary and the operations of the so-called Davao Death Squad, among others.
Despite these events, the disapproval and distrust ratings of Duterte remained at single digits. Only 5 percent of respondents disapproved of the President while only 4 percent did not trust him. Thirteen percent, meanwhile, were undecided.
The poll was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide and has a ±3 margin of error (±6 margin of error on the sub-national level).
Sought for comment, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the Palace welcomed the Filipinos’ “high approval and big trust” of Duterte, which he attributed to “people’s appreciation” of the administration’s performance.
“We are grateful for this continued show of public support and confidence to the President. The high approval and big trust speak volumes about our people’s appreciation of the President’s achievements, especially in his campaign to rid society of drugs, crime and corruption,” Andanar said.
“People are now beginning to feel secure in their homes, in the streets, day and night as incidents of homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, and [carjacking]went down, according to PNP data. This New Year the administration resolves to deliver [the President’s]promise of safe and comfortable lives for all,” he added.