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Palace welcomes Pulse survey results but silent on drop in key areas

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the administration welcomed the latest survey results of Pulse Asia showing good ratings for its performance in several governance areas. PCOO/King Rodriguez, File

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Friday welcomed the latest survey results of Pulse Asia showing that a majority of Filipinos approved of its performance in several governance areas.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella's statement however was silent about the significant drop in the appreciation for the administration's application of the law to all.

Abella noted that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte got "high marks" in fighting criminality with 78 percent, fighting graft and corruption with 70 percent and enforcing the law on all with 67 percent.

"The survey results indeed underscore the President’s promise of genuine change to have safe neighborhoods and peaceful communities under a trustworthy government has been felt by people on the ground," Abella said.

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Duterte's spokesman said that the administration was in the right direction in combating criminality and corruption, which Abella said, was the chief executive's "centerpiece program."

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"Filipinos consider these two issues as among their most urgent national concerns, and we thank our people for recognizing the efforts of the current government in delivering on this front," Abella said.

Duterte won the presidency last year on the back of a strong anti-drugs and anti-crime platform, but since his ascension to the country's top office, he has been beset by allegations that he has abetted the mounting number of drug-related killings and human rights violations. He has denied this charge.

READ: Duterte sees 18-point drop in satisfaction rating

Abella's statement welcoming the survey results, however, was silent on one important finding of the poll: the significant decrease in the number of Filipinos who believe that the administration is applying the law equally.

According to Pulse Asia, although a majority of Filipinos still appreciate the Duterte administration for equal enforcement of the law, there has been a significant drop among members of the public who believe this.

Based on the September 2017 Nationwide Survey on the Performance Ratings of the Duterte Administration on Selected Issues, 67 percent approve of the government's efforts to apply the law to all regardless of stature.

This, however, was lower by seven points than the support recorded in June, a significant drop according to the polling firm.

Ambivalence toward the administration in this issue also increased, but Pulse Asia said that this was within the poll's margin of error.

"For the period June to September 2017, the only significant change in the national administration’s performance ratings is the decline in the level of appreciation for its efforts to enforce the law equally on all citizens (-7 percentage points)," the research agency said.

Pulse Asia also recorded declines, although within the error of margin, in the areas of fighting corruption and criminality, the two subjects Abella touted.

From an approval rating of 84 percent in June, the public's appreciation of the administration's anti-crime effort went down to 78 percent in September. Uncertainty also increased in this subject, from 11 percent in June to 16 percent in September.

In the area of fighting corruption, the administration's rating dipped from 76 percent in June to 70 percent in September.

According to Abella, they hoped that these results would result in increased investments and "better economic prospects" that would help reduce poverty, control inflation, create jobs and improve the pay of workers, two of the most urgent concerns of Filipinos, according to Pulse Asia.

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