Aquino’s approval rating goes ‘underwater’


“Underwater” is the descriptive term that American poll analysts use to describe a president’s job approval rating when it plunges into negative territory – that is, the number of those who disapprove of the president’s performance exceed the number of those who approve of his performance, and his job approval falls well below 50%.
Based on the first quarter surveys of both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS), Aquino’s job approval is now definitely underwater, and sinking deeper by the day. But the poll firms do not use such colorful language to report their findings; they disguise them because of the hefty business that Malacanang and Aquino business cronies give them.

Instead, and for reasons that foreign observers, diplomats and expat executives cannot fathom, our two leading pollsters sex up their surveys with fancy terminology and stratagems. They do not simply survey and report approval ratings like nearly all reputable survey firms in the developed world. Pulse Asia and SWS also pretend to measure public trust and satisfaction with our leaders and institutions—qualities that Filipinos do not normally associate or apply to their leaders.

Pulse Asia and SWS disclose the plunging numbers of Aquino with great reluctance. They bury public sentiments and attitudes in irrelevant details. They use numbers from the countryside and remote areas to elbow opinion coming from the national capital and major urban centers. Through the stratagem of averaging, they are able to come up with deceptive numbers that mask the extent and depth of public disapproval for the President and his administration.

But all the elaborate tinkering is frustrated in the end. The real state of public opinion shines through, throwing light on the falsehood of propaganda.

In the 2015 surveys, it is in the National Capital Region, where disapproval and distrust of President Aquino run deepest. Because NCR encompasses over 10 million of the national population, the implications for national politics and governance are profound.

Aquino and his top advisers must know how to swim in order not to drown.

Key survey findings

The key findings of the two polling firms are:

I.Pulse Asia survey
(March1-7, 2015)
National Capital Region
Aquino’s performance rating
Approve                       40 percent
Disapprove                  43 percent
Net rating minus           3 percent

Aquino’s trust rating
Big trust                   24 percent
No trust                   43 percent
Net rating minus      19 percent

Social Weather Station Survey
(March20-23, 2015)
SWS idiosyncratically measures satisfaction, not approval, in its polling.

National Capital region
Satisfied                            45 percent
Dissatisfied                       38 percent
Net rating plus                    7 percent

Satisfied                                47 percent
Dissatisfied                            36 percent
Net rating plus                      11 percent

Both survey firms employ tricks to downplay Aquino’s plunging performance and trust ratings.

SWS uses the tactic of measuring the level of public satisfaction with the President’s handling of his job.

To induce the public to believe in its figures, SWS dramatized by press release the decline of Aquino’s ratings from December 2014 to March 2015. It also recalled how Aquino’s satisfaction rating has gone down from 60 percent in September 2010, to 11 percent this March 2015.

To make sure Malacañang will treat its work with favor, SWS goes into numerous comparative statistics, and even goes to the extent of comparing Aquino’s rating to those of past presidents.

Why periodic polling matters

Comparing the two surveys, the Pulse Asia survey is to me the more credible and revealing. It tracks what in my gut I believe our people are thinking.

In baring starkly the alarming numbers in Metro Manila, Pulse Asia does the nation an important service. It foreshadows the battles to come in the politics of 2016.

The Pulse survey should be useful for the administration, if it still has energy left to right its course in the plus 400 days remaining of the presidential term.

The periodic reading of the public pulse has great importance, because it sizes up the level of public support that the president can command with the public when he pursues a particular policy, or when he is in a fight with political rivals or opponents.

The issue of public approval has now risen to the top of President Aquino’s concern because he is in a critical struggle over the Mamasapano fallout, and he is fighting for his envisioned legacy of an enduring peace in Mindanao.

False names, false allies, false Asia    

This week deserves to be remembered for the spotlight it threw on the issue of falsehood.
First and most disturbing, thanks to the efforts of former DILG secretary Rafael Alunan III and Rep. Karlo Nograles of Davao City, the prevalent use of fictitious names by negotiators and officers of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has come to light. It took center stage in the recent hearings on Mamasapano by the House.

Mohagher Iqbal (MILF chief negotiator) Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim (MILF chairman) and Ghadzali Jaafar (MILF vice-chairman) are all fictitious names. They have all refused to disclose their true names.

Now, many are wondering whether the peace agreement and other covenants signed by them are valid or binding.

Second, and to make sure he is not forgotten, President Aquino last Tuesday warned the public and his allies not to be fooled by two-faced people who represent themselves as supporters of his administration. He issued the warning during the inauguration of a bridge in Isabela.

This is bizarre. Aquino is losing supporters and allies like former congressman Walden Bello. People who voted for him in 2010 are expressing voters’ remorse.

Finally, I should mention here that many people call Pulse Asia “False Asia,” because of its perceived conscription by the Aquino administration.

I said above that in this first quarter of the year Pulse Asia offered the more credible survey than SWS. It can atone for the past by doing forthright, fair and non-partisan opinion polling heading into the May 2016 elections.


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  1. The GMA administration was really doing well. In fact, the present economic gains and progress are fruits of her policies and program. But with the corrupt media and survey firms, who acted as propaganda outfits, all her achievements were undermined and buried by lies, misinformation and fake survey results which were fed and bombarded to ignorant pinoys’ minds who accept things without thinking. Now, we are slowly waking up and realize we were being fooled, used and exploited. It’s not yet late and we can something to correct the sad situation.

  2. Romy A. Cator on

    What about the good the good things he did for the economy which up until now is still
    growing. Don’t the people deserve to know this?

  3. The administration, the government, the system, and the people are interconnected. What is done to the one will affect the other overtly or covertly. Nothing is perfect in the set-up. The unrelenting attack on anyone of these will eventually affect the others. To me all that has been happening is like a feeding frenzy of sharks, without regards to the repercussions to the people in general. All that matters is the lust for blood. It doesn’t consider how it weakens the people trust in the system, all that matters is the objective of igniting distrust on the administration. I am sure there are missteps in this administration, but to demonize it without even taking a breathe to pause is forget that we are all in these. The willingness to plunge the country into chaos and disarray and direction less considering the many problems assaulting the Philippine locally and internationally. There is no thought to the small people. Some religious people are no help either. God help us.

  4. Hindi valid ang napirmahang kasundoan. Kung ipagpumilit nilang valid ku’no ay dapat pa silang kasuhan dahil hindi tunay nilang pangalan ang ipinirma. May magandang intensyon ba ang taong ayaw ipakikila ang tunay na pagkatao/pangalan sa Taong kinakausap? Ni sa kaniyang sarili mismo ay ayaw ipakilala sa publiko. Sa BBL mong iyan: BILIBID BAGSAK mo LOKO!

  5. Pnoy’s arrogance and incompetence will be the cause of his downfall.

    Pnoy’s famous and unbelievable remarks.
    1. “Pass the BBL or else count the body bags”.
    2. “Ngayon ay patas na tayo”.
    3. “Eh! ano gusto nyo isa isa nating arestuhin ang mga MILF”.
    4. “Magingat sa mga doble kara”.
    5. “Niloko ako ni Gen. Napenas” and many more….

    Indeed, there is something wrong about his mental capacity..

  6. does this mean that Binay results as also false?
    or do we wait for SC decision on TRO?
    or wait why they want to stop AMLC from scrutiny of their bank accounts?

    • No. Binay’s ratings are correct, he’s shooting up. You need to go to the barrios and slums to understand why. here in the suburbs where he is unpopular, its a very small percentage.

  7. catalino generillo on

    BS was and is not trustworthy.
    In a 2007 story “BONGBONG IDENTIFIES FM SIGNATURES,” ace reporter Sandy Araneta of Philippine Star wrote:
    “I Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. yesterday identified some of the signatures and handwriting of his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, on marginal notes attached to letters from Lucio Tan’s companies, which allegedly confirmed allegations that the former strongman had indeed facilitated some of the transactions.
    ‘As far as I can tell, it appears to be the signature and handwriting of my father,’ said Marcos during his testimony at the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division.
    In the Senate, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III raised questions yesterday over the decision of Rep. Marcos to testify before the Sandiganbayan and lay claim over some of the business interests of Tan.”
    Same news story answered BS questions. Mr. Araneta wrote: “He (Generillo) reiterated that the Marcoses have reached a point where they would either lose their money to the government or to Lucio Tan.”
    BS trustworthiness was below sea level from the very beginning.…/14904/bongbong-identifies-fm-sign…

  8. You do not bite the hands that feed you. That is why False Asia chooses the least forceful words to describe Aquino’s fast plunging popularity. It is the same with SWS. After all, the two survey firms earn their living from Malacanang’s patronage of their services, which are slanted in the palace tenant’s favor.

  9. Yen, ganito na lang, kapag sa agreement of marriage, ang signature sa contract of marriage is not the real name of your spouse, is the marriage contract binding with with you? Of course hindi.

    • granny goose on

      True… if that is the case, I wonder how Deles, Ferrer and Aquino would legitimize the agreement…

    • Ibig sabihin, yung transaction between government and the MILF negotiators who use aliases are not binding? OMG, eh bakit sinasabi ni Madam De Lima, wala raw itong kaso. Hello, Madam De Lima, merun mga brilliant People na pwedi liwanagin ang tama sa madlang pipol. Wag po kami bola-bolahin, hindi po kami matutuwa. Kahit po hindi kami lawyers, mahilig po kami magbasa at makinig sa magkabilang panig.

  10. Glad to know that PNoy rating is underwater. Hope he will stay deeper there. In the abyss.