While President Rodrigo Duterte won on a promise of “change” by significantly reducing crime nationwide, Filipinos said they want the new Chief Executive to address economic concerns in his first six months in office, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Wednesday.
The nationwide poll, taken from July 2 to 8, showed that most Filipinos want the Duterte administration to prioritize three economic issues – controlling increases in prices (68 percent), creating employment opportunities (56 percent), and crafting new pro-poor programs (55 percent).
Curbing criminality was the fourth top concern among Filipinos at 48 percent.
The other national concerns included loan grants to small entrepreneurs and the self-employed (23 percent), a program to address the government’s debt problem (17 percent), and pursuing peace negotiations with different armed groups (17 percent).
Filipinos believe the least priority should be given to forging a government of national unity (9 percent), and amending the Constitution (7 percent).
The Pulse Asia survey on Filipinos’ expectations of the Duterte administration was conducted among 1,200 respondents nationwide.
The respondents were provided a list of different issues and were asked to cite the top three concerns they believe the new administration should prioritize in its first six months in office.
The Pulse Asia said majorities in Metro Manila (54 percent to 60 percent), the Visayas (56 percent to 70 percent) “are of the view that the new administration should immediately take steps to control inflation, generate employment, and create new pro-poor programs.”
Most respondents in Manila (54 percent) would also like the Duterte administration to give priority to the issue of criminality while the rest of Luzon (61 percent to 70 percent) said the government must focus on controlling inflation and generating employment.
Among respondents from Mindanao, the majority wants the Duterte administration to prioritize controlling inflation (70 percent), creating new pro-poor programs (59 percent) and reducing criminality (51 percent).
Across socio-economic classes, those belonging to Class ABC (55 percent to 61 percent), and Class D (57 percent to 69 percent) believe that the administration should address economic issues immediately while a majority of Class E respondents (70 percent) said they want inflation to be controlled.
During and immediately before the survey period, among the major news were the Cabinet appointments including Vice President Leni Robredo as housing chief, the spate of drug-related killings in the country and calls to probe these, and the P0.29-per kilowatt hour increase in electricity bills for Manila Electric Company customers beginning July.
During the survey period, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez filed House Concurrent Resolution Number 1 calling for a Constitutional Convention to pave the way for federalism.|
Alvarez and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro also filed a bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty through lethal injection.