84% of Filipinos approve of Duterte admin's COVID-19 response — Pulse Asia

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
84% of Filipinos approve of Duterte admin's COVID-19 response â Pulse Asia
President Rodrigo Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on October 5, 2020
Presidential Photo / Simeon Celi, Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Eight out of 10 Filipinos approve of the government’s efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic that has upended the lives of millions, a new Pulse Asia survey suggested.

The poll conducted from September 14 to 20 found that 84% of the 1,200 respondents have a “positive opinion” on the efforts of President Rodrigo Duterte and his government to control the spread of COVID-19 and provide assistance to those in need.

Only 6% registered disapproval on the government’s response. Meanwhile, 10% expressed ambivalence.

As for providing assistance, only 7% expressed disapproval, while 9% registered ambivalence.

Pulse Asia said approval is the majority sentiment across all geographic areas and socio-economic classes.

“It may be noted that Mindanawons are more inclined to approve of the Duterte administration’s efforts to assist those who lost their sources of income as a result of the pandemic compared to Metro Manilans,” it said.

The highest rating on the government’s response to control the COVID-19 transmission was logged in Visayas (86%), followed by Mindanao (85%) and Luzon (85%).

Metro Manila, the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak, registered a 78-percent approval rating of the government’s handling of the health crisis.

Preventing COVID-19 spread

The survey also found that 92% of Filipino believe that Duterte “has done well” in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Only 3% disapproved.

To date, the new coronavirus has infected over 329,000 people and killed nearly 6,000. The country has the highest of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia and is among the top 20 countries with most number of infections globally.

The survey followed the poll showing that Duterte enjoys 91% approval and trust ratings in the middle of a global health crisis.

Political scientist Cleve Arguelles said in an interview on ANC that populist leaders such as Duterte thrive in times of crisis.

“Populist leaders like Duterte are really known to thrive in times of crisis so during times of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that we're currently experiencing, we know that people look to strongmen, capable leaders to bring order,” he said.

Nearly all Filipinos worry about getting COVID-19

The poll also found that 97% of Filipinos expressed concern about contracting COVID-19. Only 2% of Filipinos said they were not worried of getting infected, while only 1% expressed indecision on the matter.

Seven out of 10 Filipinos said they regularly clean their hands with soap or alcohol to keep the virus at bay. Meanwhile, 55% wear face masks, 33% observe physical distancing, 32% stay home when it is not necessary to go out, 26% avoid going to crowded places and 25% avoid people who are sick.

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews of 1,200 respondents aged 18 years old and above. The nationwide results have a margin of error of +/- 2.8% at 95% confidence level.

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