Reports of massive graft and corruption and the government’s slow response to the unprecedented disaster in the Visayas region failed to dent the popularity of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, whose trust ratings remain high, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) latest survey.
Of the 1,550 Filipinos interviewed from December 11 to 16, 69 percent said they were generally satisfied with Aquino’s performance, while 21 percent were not. Although the President’s satisfaction score gained one point, dissatisfaction gained two points from last quarter’s survey.
Overall, the President’s rating tipped the “very good” mark at +55 net satisfaction this year. Aquino’s highest was during the second quarter at +64 when the Philippines posted positive economic growth because of election spending.
Aquino’s satisfaction rating rose slightly in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In Metro Manila, his popularity slipped by 16 points from the third quarter survey.
The President’s big drop in Metro Manila was compensated by slight improvements in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The fourth quarter survey also saw big improvements in the outlook of the ABC and E classes.
From September’s “good” +39, Aquino’s rating went up by as much as 18 points to “very good” +57 net satisfaction rating. He also gained 13 points from the ABC class, staying at “very good,” with +68 net satisfaction rating.
With class D or the “masa,” the President’s rating fell by seven points. From “very good” +52, it went down to a “good” +45 net satisfaction rating.
Malacañang officials were happy with the result of the latest SWS survey.
Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the poll shows “the Filipino people continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Aquino administration.”
“In lieu of the usual naysayers trying to promote the impression that there is a general dissatisfaction among the Filipino people, the survey shows that an overwhelming majority in Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, as well as a healthy majority in Metro Manila, are solidly with the President,” Lacierda said.
But while Aquino’s performance was rated “very good” in Visayas, Mindanao and the rest of Luzon, his net satisfaction rating in the National Capital Region dipped to a “moderate” +22 from a “good” +38 in September.
Lacierda attributed the decline to the “tough” decisions that Aquino had to make during the last few months, which saw a series of natural and man-made disasters, including the clash in Zamboanga City between soldiers and members of the Moro National Liberation Front, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol and Super Typhoon Yolanda.
“The President and the members of his Cabinet are determined to pursue and complete the priority programs of the Philippine Development Plan, regardless of survey results, as the President emphasizes we will do right by our people and endeavor to fulfill their aspirations for a better future,” Lacierda said.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that Aquino and the members of the Cabinet are “determined to pursue and complete the priority programs of the Philippine Development Plan.”
“Regardless of survey results, as the President emphasizes, we will do right by our people and endeavor to fulfill their aspirations for a better future,” Coloma said.
He noted that the government has to surmount major challenges in terms of implementing reconstruction and rehabilitation programs.
Still, Coloma said he was pleased with the SWS survey because it showed that the President got high trust ratings even in areas hit by calamities.
“If we are to scrutinize the results, the net satisfaction rating in calamity-affected areas was not affected. They were steady or increased slightly. So maybe that could be an indicator that, indeed, the survey results are unaffected by the criticism against the government regarding post-Yolanda rehabilitation efforts, the Zamboanga standoff, the Bohol-Cebu earthquake,” Coloma said.
He said it would be best for the government to focus on the ongoing rehabilitation programs and rather than be contented with what the survey results.