Marcos waves off sharp drop in ratings: ‘People are having a hard time’

Marcos waves off sharp drop in ratings: �People are having a hard time�
An F1 Facebook fan page shared a screenshot in which President Bongbong Marcos and House Speaker Martin Romualdez were spotted at the Ferrari Garage during the Qualifying Session at the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix over the weekend.
Facebook / Formula 1 Fans PH

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday downplayed the sharp decline in his approval and trust rating among Filipinos, saying that he had expected the result due to the rising prices of rice.

Asked for his reaction to the findings of the recent Pulse Asia survey, Marcos said: “It’s not surprising. People are having a hard time. Bigas na to eh (This is rice). It’s different from anything else, any other agricultural product.”

“Hindi mo masisi ang tao kasi talagang naghihirap sila (You can’t blame the people because they’re really struggling),” the president said.

“That's perfectly natural. It was not a surprise,” he added.

Marcos added that this is the reason why his administration is working to stabilize food prices to ensure people have “enough to eat.” 

“I think we're slowly heading there because our supply is good. Distribution, we're already doing something for the cost of delivering rice to far-flung areas. We also have a project here in NCR,” the president said in a mix of English and Filipino.

In the same event, Marcos announced the immediate lifting of the price ceiling on rice that was implemented about a month ago. 

A recent poll by private firm Pulse Asia found that Marcos’ approval ratings decreased by 15 percentage points nationwide, going from 80% in June to 65% in September.  

Marcos was also the only top official in the survey who suffered a double-digit drop in approval ratings across all socio-economic classes, with his approval score slumping the most among members of Class E by around 29 percentage points or from 82% to 53%. 

Political science professor Arj Aguirre told Philstar.com that the drop in Marcos' ratings, as well as Vice President Sara Duterte's, is "significant since it is beyond the margin of error."

The sharp drop in both the approval and trust ratings for the two officials "show that a substantial portion of the population nowadays  have become dissatisfied with Marcos and VP Sara in terms of doing something to curb the ill effects of inflation on ordinary citizens," Aguirre said.

A separate survey has found that public disapproval of how the Marcos government is handling inflation has risen to 56% in September from 37% in June. 

Meanwhile, managing inflation — which went up by 5.3% in August — remained the topmost concern of Filipinos in all regions.

— Cristina Chi with reports by Gaea Katreena Cabico

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