PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s net satisfaction rating reached a record-high +66 after a year in power and following his declaration of martial law in Mindanao, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Friday.
The poll, conducted from June 23 to 26, showed that 78 percent of Filipinos were satisfied with the President’s performance. Twelve percent were dissatisfied and 10 percent were undecided.
This yielded a “very good” net satisfaction rating of +66 (satisfied minus dissatisfied), a three-point increase from his first-quarter rating of +63.
Political analyst Ramon Casiple attributed the rise in the President’s rating to his swift action following the attack by Maute terrorists on Marawi City last May 23. The Marawi siege forced Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law.
“They (public) recognize the gravity of the threat of the Islamic State,” Casiple said, referring to the international terrorist group to which the Maute fighters have pledged allegiance.
Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella welcomed the survey result, which he said was “a clear indication of the growing confidence” in the President and his performance as the country’s leader.
“The data collection concluded on June 23 to 26, a month after (Duterte) placed the whole island of Mindanao under martial law, and it shows tacit public support to the President’s action following the rebellion in Marawi,” Abella said.
Drop in Mindanao
The President, however, experienced a 12-point drop in his satisfaction rating in Mindanao, to 75 percent in June from 87 percent in March.
Still, Duterte scored “excellent” net satisfaction ratings in Mindanao and the Visayas, at +75 and +73, respectively. He got +63 in Metro Manila.
His lowest rating was in “Balance Luzon” or Luzon except Metro Manila, at +58.
The President also obtained “very good” net ratings in urban and rural areas, at +68 and +63, respectively.
Among socioeconomic classes, Duterte scored the highest rating in Class E at +67, followed by Class D at +66 and Class ABC at +59.
Women gave the President +69, higher than the +63 given by men.
The survey, first published by BusinessWorld newspaper on Friday, used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.
It had sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
Some senators viewed the record-high satisfaction rating of President Duterte as proof that the public understood the intention of the declaration of martial law in the whole of Mindanao.
“Majority of the people in Mindanao especially are in full support because they want the crisis to end as soon as possible,” Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito said.
Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian said Duterte passed the leadership test, noting that the President’s actions to resolve the crisis had been acceptable to the public.
Trillanes, a Duterte critic, said the 12-point drop in Mindanao showed a “totally different and alarming picture,” and the Marawi siege could have been the overriding concern of the respondents when the survey was conducted.
Those from Luzon and the Visayas most likely appreciated the Armed Force’s effective response to the Maute group, leading to an increase in the President’s satisfaction rating, he said.
‘Benefit of the doubt’
Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list, a Trillanes ally, said the President should not use his record-high satisfaction rating as an excuse to allow unabated drug-related killings and compromise the country’s claims on the West Philippine Sea.
Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate of Bayan Muna party-list said Duterte’s impressive satisfaction rating should not be taken as public approval of his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Rep. LRay Villafuerte of Camarines Sur disagreed.
“This shows the broad and deep public support for his swift and decisive action in addressing the conflict in Marawi City, including the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. This strongly indicates that Filipinos support his strong-willed actions to prevent, by all legal means possible, the grim scenario of the terrorist group [Islamic State] setting up a house in Mindanao,” Villafuerte said.
with JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA AND LLANESCA T. PANTI