PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd’s ratings fell to an all-time low in the second quarter of the year with steep drops across all indicators, showing that public satisfaction with the country’s leader is waning.
According to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) first published in Businessworld, the net satisfaction rating of Aquino dropped heftily from +45 in the first quarter to only a “moderate” +29 during the review period.
Conducted from June 27 to 30, the survey showed that the Aquino government also got “bad” to “poor” satisfaction ratings in three specific issues: resolving the Maguindanao Massacre case with justice (-44), ensuring oil firms don’t take advantage of oil prices (-19) and fighting inflation (-18).
Also, the administration got a -9 satisfaction rating for ensuring that no family will be hungry.
The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, 300 each in Metro Manila, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Sampling error margins of ±3 percent were used for national percentages and ±6 percent for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Aquino administration received “good” ratings in six issues, one of which is helping the poor (+39). It got “moderate” ratings in seven issues, including providing jobs (+20) and eradicating graft and corruption (+12).
But the same survey indicated that the net satisfaction with the Aquino administration at +29 remains high compared to the previous net satisfaction ratings of previous presidents in their fourth year in office.
President Fidel Ramos got +11 net satisfaction of his administration in June 1996, his fourth year in office, according to SWS. On the other hand, President Gloria Arroyo got a -11 net satisfaction of her administration in August 2005 or four years after President Joseph Estrada was deposed.
But Malacanang belittled the latest survey report on Monday, saying they are not bothered by it.
“We’re not going to be paralyzed by any survey. Our commitment is there to protect the welfare of the Filipino people,” its spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a news briefing.
According to the official, the latest survey results, although the lowest so far for Aquino, remain the “highest among the lowest” among other previous administrations.
“The administration remains undeterred in its commitment to serve the country and its citizens and countrymen. Presumably this is so far the lowest under this administration, by way of historical context since the start of SWS, it is still considered the highest of the lowest among the other previous administrations,” Lacierda explained.
“You can trace the lowest point of each administration, present and previous, and it’s still by far the highest among the lowest of the administrations, based on the survey conducted by SWS,” he said.
Lacierda added that they are aware that some sectors would “put a political spin” to some issues confronting the President but that they, too, “don’t change the demeanor of the President.”
He said the end-June SWS survey is just a “snapshot” of a particular “landscape,” meaning the conditions that led to the low survey results may no longer be present in the next survey period.
When asked if the numbers would go further down when the issue on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is factored in in the next survey, Lacierda replied that such expectation could be negated by the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“The DAP was there. That’s true. We’re [referring]to the next survey. The DAP was issued prior to that [June] survey, but also SONA was deliv ered in this landscape… Certainly, we would like to believe that [the numbers would go up]after coming up with all the explanations and the President’s [SONA]),” he said.