Rising prices still top concern among Filipinos — Pulse Asia

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Rising prices still top concern among Filipinos � Pulse Asia
A vendor waits for customers along a street in Manila on May 11, 2023.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — Controlling the rising prices of goods and services remained the top concern of most Filipinos, a survey by pollster Pulse Asia showed. 

The survey conducted from September 10 to 14 found that 74% of Filipinos said that taming inflation was their “leading urgent national concern” that the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. must address immediately. The figure was 11 percentage points higher than the June survey. 

“Public sentiment on the matter is virtually unchanged between June 2023 and September 2023 as well as year-on-year,” Pulse Asia noted.

In all regions, managing inflation, which accelerated to 5.3% in August, was the topmost concern. It was highest in Visayas at 80%, followed by Mindanao at 79%, Balance Luzon at 72%, and Metro Manila at 66%. 

The survey also found that public disapproval of how the Marcos government is handling inflation has risen to 56% in September from 37% in June. Only 16% said they approved of the administration’s response to inflation, and 28% were undecided. 

A separate Pulse Asia poll showed that the approval rating of Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte has declined by double digits. The two top officials, however, maintained majority support from the public.

Other top concerns

The second top concern of Filipinos was increasing the pay of workers (49%).

Other concerns of the public were creating more jobs (27%), reducing poverty (25%), and fighting graft and corruption in the government (22%), fighting criminality (18%), addressing involuntary hunger (14%), providing assistance to farmers (13), and enforcing the law (11%). 

Less than 10% of respondents identified providing support to small entrepreneurs, promoting peace, stopping environmental destruction, defending the integrity of the Philippine territory, reducing taxes, protecting the welfare of migrant workers, and preparing to face any kind of terrorism as their major concerns. 

The Marcos administration had majority approval ratings in protecting overseas Filipino workers (74%), helping calamity-hit areas (72%), promoting peace (63%), defending national territory (59%), combating crime (57%), enforcing rule of law (55%), providing assistance to farmers (55%), and protecting the environment (54%). 

More Filipinos also disapproved of the administration’s work in fighting corruption and reducing poverty.

The survey was conducted at a time when lawmakers deliberated the budget for 2024, the government set price ceiling for rice, and the inflation quickened after a six-month downtrend. 

The poll was based on interviews with 1,200 Filipino adults, and had a ± 2.8% error margin at the 95% confidence level.

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