The survey, conducted from Sept. 1 to 7, showed that 63 percent of respondents want the Duterte administration to immediately address inflation or the rate of increase in prices. The survey was released yesterday.
Edd Gumban
Soaring prices worry Filipinos most — Pulse Asia
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - September 28, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Rising inflation is the most urgent concern of most Filipinos, results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showed.

The survey, conducted from Sept. 1 to 7, showed that 63 percent of respondents want the Duterte administration to immediately address inflation or the rate of increase in prices. The survey was released yesterday.

Pulse Asia said this was the predominant opinion across all geographic areas and socio-economic classes.

Compared with the results of the June 2018 survey, the percentage of Filipinos who cited inflation as their most urgent national concern increased by 12 points from 51 percent.

Meanwhile, satisfaction with the government’s efforts to control soaring prices has dropped, from 41 percent approval rating in June to 27 percent this month.

Disapproval of the government’s performance on the matter rose 22 points from 29 percent to 51 percent.

After inflation, most Filipinos said the government should focus on improving or increasing workers’ pay (50 percent), reducing poverty (32 percent), creating more jobs (30 percent) and fighting graft and corruption (26 percent).

Fighting criminality was the main concern of 23 percent of respondents, increasing peace (14 percent), stopping the destruction of environment (13 percent), reducing the amount of taxes (12 percent) and equality in law enforcement (11 percent).

Among the least urgent concerns are protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (six percent), controlling population growth (six percent), preparing for any kind of terrorism (five percent), defending Philippine territory (five percent) and changing the Constitution (three percent).

Respondents of the survey were allowed to choose up to three national issues that they consider as their most urgent concerns.

While still high on most issues, public appreciation of the Duterte administration’s performance in addressing national concerns has dropped compared to the figure in the June survey.

Approval rating in terms of fighting criminality also dropped from 88 percent to 83 percent, while responding to the needs of areas affected by calamities went down from 85 percent to 74 percent.

With regard to protecting OFWs, the number of Filipinos who approved of the performance of the Duterte administration decreased from 83 percent to 75 percent. It also decreased on the issue of fighting corruption, from 81 percent to 71 percent.

Other issues that suffered drops in approval rating are equal enforcement of the law (79 percent to 69 percent), increasing peace (74 percent to 69 percent), stopping the destruction of the environment (73 percent to 65 percent), creating more jobs (66 percent to 56 percent) and defending the Philippine territory (62 percent to 56 percent).

Incurring double digit drops were approval ratings on the matter of improving the pay of workers (67 percent to 53 percent) and reducing poverty (55 percent to 39 percent).

“Disapproval for the work done by the national administration becomes more pronounced on the issues of creating more jobs, fighting corruption in government, increasing the pay of workers, reducing poverty and controlling inflation,” Pulse Asia said.

The survey had 1,800 respondents and a margin of error of +/- two percent.         

Palace assurance

Malacañang, meanwhile, assured the public that controlling inflation is the administration’s priority.

“We noticed that Filipinos are really concerned with rising prices. We recognize the problem of rising prices... pero ang aming assurance po – hindi po natutulog sa pansitan ang ating Presidente (But our assurance is the President is not neglecting it),” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

Roque noted that Duterte has signed orders aimed at tempering the rise in the prices of goods. These include an administrative order removing non-tariff barriers to agricultural imports and a memorandum directing agencies to reduce the gap between farm gate and retail prices of agriculture products.

“We are confident that the effects of our measures will be felt and we can see that the prices of goods are going down,” he added.

On poll results suggesting that Charter change remains the least of Filipinos’ concerns, Roque said everything took a back seat because of inflation.

“Right now, the foremost priority of the administration is fighting inflation. So everything is sidelined now. We did not expect the sudden increase in the prices of crude oil and petroleum. So, I would say that even the administration acknowledges that there are more important problems closer to the gut that we have to face,” he said.    – With Alexis Romero, Delon Porcalla

INFLATION PULSE ASIA SURVEY
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