MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino enjoys the trust of eight out of every 10 Filipinos, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.
The survey also showed that jobs and price control topped the people’s wish list for the Aquino administration.
The Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey found that 85 percent of 1,200 respondents trusted Aquino, only son of democracy icons Benigno “Ninoy” Jr. and Corazon Aquino, who was president from 1986 to 1992. Her death in August 2009 sparked an outpouring of support that took her son to the presidency in May.
By contrast, in a poll in March, former President and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had a trust rating of 12 percent. Her highest trust rating was 55 percent in October 2001, her first year in office.
“President Aquino appeared to be off to a good start with 85 percent of Filipinos expressing trust in him – the highest trust rating ever recorded by any individual included in Pulse Asia’s trust probes since 1999,” Ronald Holmes, Pulse Asia president, said.
Only two percent of the respondents expressed distrust in Mr. Aquino while the remaining 13 percent were undecided.
The non-commissioned survey was conducted from July 1 to 11, using face to face interviews with 1,200 respondents.
Between April and this month, Mr. Aquino’s overall trust rating has risen by 18 percentage points while overall indecision and distrust ratings have declined by eight and nine percentage points, respectively, Pulse Asia said.
The President, according to the survey, enjoys basically the same trust ratings across the country’s geographic areas (83 percent to 89 percent) and socio-economic groupings (84 percent to 88 percent).
Double-digit improvements in the President’s trust ratings across geographic areas (15 to 18 percentage points) and socio-economic classes (17 to 21 percentage points) have been recorded between April and July.
According to 36 percent of respondents, providing jobs to the people should be the first order of business for the Aquino government in its first six months in office, while 22 percent believe the new administration should prioritize price control.
The other issues, including education, workers’ wages, agriculture, peace, housing, and livelihood, were mentioned by less than one in 10 Filipinos.
Meanwhile, Pulse Asia said most Filipinos or 85 percent consider it urgent for the new administration to control the spiraling costs of goods and services.
For 75 percent of the survey respondents, the Aquino administration should ensure adequate funding for pro-poor programs, while 73 percent said the creation of new jobs should be prioritized.
“Near to small majorities” of Filipinos cited the importance of the following issues – appointment of individuals with skills, experience and integrity to key government posts (60 percent), preparing a program addressing the government’s fiscal and debt problems (59 percent), continuing peace negotiations with armed political groups (56 percent), forging a government of national unity (54 percent), and providing loans for small businesses and the self-employed (49 percent).
Two in every 10 Filipinos consider creating new pro-poor programs and controlling the increases in prices as “somewhat important.”
Indecision with regards to the importance of these national issues was expressed by less than one in 10 Filipinos.
Around the same percentage say these issues are somewhat “not important/not important at all” (0.4 percent to five percent).