Pulse: Rody gov’t gets ‘majority’ approval ratings

The Philippine Star
Pulse: Rody govât gets âmajorityâ approval ratings

Nearly eight in 10 Filipinos expressed appreciation for the work done by the government in responding to the needs of those affected by calamities (78 percent), fighting criminality (78 percent) and protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (76 percent). RUDY SANTOS/File

MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration obtained “majority” approval ratings for its handling of several issues, including disaster response and fighting criminality, Pulse Asia’s third quarter survey showed.

Nearly eight in 10 Filipinos expressed appreciation for the work done by the government in responding to the needs of those affected by calamities (78 percent), fighting criminality (78 percent) and protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (76 percent). 

It also received majority approval scores for fighting corruption (70 percent), protecting the environment (68 percent), enforcing the rule of law (67 percent), promoting peace (67 percent), defending national territorial integrity (65 percent), creating more jobs (63 percent) and increasing workers’ pay (58 percent). 

However, the Duterte administration failed to achieve majority approval scores on poverty reduction (49 percent) and inflation (45 percent), which was listed as the “top urgent national concern” of Filipinos.

Between June and September, the only significant change in the administration’s performance ratings was the decline in the level of appreciation for its efforts to enforce the law equally on all citizens (down by seven percentage points) and the decrease in the level of approval for the administration’s work in the areas of fighting criminality and corruption (both down by six points), Pulse Asia noted.

Malacañang ignored the significant drop as presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella focused on the positive ratings posted and public satisfaction on the government’s performance.???

 “The Duterte administration is in the right direction when it made fighting criminality and fighting corruption as its centerpiece program,” Abella said.

 He is also elated that Filipinos consider fighting criminality and corruption as among their most urgent national concerns.

 “We thank our people for recognizing the efforts of the current government in delivering on this front,” Abella added.

 The survey results, according to him, “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.”

 “We are hopeful that this translates into increased investments and better economic prospects that address urgent national concerns, such as reducing poverty, controlling inflation, creating jobs, and improving the pay of workers to achieve our common aspiration of comfortable life for all,” the spokesman said.

The survey was fielded from Sept. 24-30, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 representative adults.

Inflation top concern, Charter change least

Meanwhile, inflation remained the top concern of Filipinos nationwide, while amending the Constitution was still their least concern, the same survey showed.

One in every two Filipinos (50 percent) considers the need to control the rise in prices as the national concern, which the present administration should act on immediately.

Other urgent national concerns include increasing the pay of workers (42 percent), fighting criminality (36 percent), creating more jobs (32 percent), fighting corruption in government (28 percent) and reducing poverty (28 percent).

Respondents also mentioned peace promotion (21 percent) and enforcement of the rule of law (16 percent) as among the other important issues.

Pulse Asia said Filipinos are least concerned about environmental degradation (14 percent), reducing the amount of taxes paid by citizens (nine percent), controlling rapid population growth (eight percent), protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (six percent), preparing to successfully deal with terrorism (five percent), defending national territorial integrity (four percent) and amending the 1987 Philippine Constitution (two percent).

With regard to local issues that need immediate action, at least 15.9 percent of Filipinos mentioned the poor state of roads or road infrastructure, followed by flooding (11.2 percent) and illegal drugs (10.2 percent). 

But for some congressmen, the rising consumer prices and low wages, not illegal drugs, are the main concerns of most Filipinos.

“The rising cost of basic goods and services, as well as how the salaries of workers can be increased, are still the real issues that the government has to address as shown in the latest surveys,” Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna said. 

If President Duterte fails to address these issues, he added, the trust and performance ratings would erode further.

“The President can only reverse this downward spiral if he listens to the people’s demand for real change and genuine peace and development,” Zarate said.

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said the foremost concerns of Filipinos are “gut issues” that include fighting inflation, creating jobs and increasing work pay.

“This is where the Duterte administration is perceived by many as having failed so far. It’s in the economic front where the government has received low marks. As we head towards Christmas season, trust and satisfaction ratings of the administration will continue to fall commensurate to the escalation of prices of basic commodities,” Baguilat claimed.

For Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, Filipinos are more concerned with the delivery of basic services than with illegal drugs.  

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