As seen from the eye of an ignorant

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

When my parents-in-law (Tatay Tancio Ladia and Nanay Pinang’s souls are with our Lord) were still operating the Oriental Book Store, there was a poster that was briskly selling. The turnaround was fast. Every fresh replenishment stocks that arrived would get easily sold out. The poster carried a picture of an ape with its hands holding its head and a face showing total bewilderment. Under the picture was written the following line: “If you think education ii expensive, try ignorance”. Everytime I read the inscription, I always had different appreciations of its meaning. Maybe because the line could be interpreted in so many ways, it was the reason for its top-selling performance.

I remember that poster when I read about the latest poll survey on President Rodrigo Duterte. Yes, I acknowledge how difficult it is for me, an ignorant, about poll surveys. Being unschooled about the profound terms used in data gathering, I now feel completely bewildered.

Here is where my confusion lies. In an earlier national poll done sometime in September 2020, President Duterte registered 91% trust rating. Observers described it as the highest percentage point a president of our country obtained in years. It was explained that while social/economic classes A and B gave the president only 1% trust rating, those in the E sector drove in unprecedented flocks to show their support to Duterte.

The next survey was done in December 2020. Reports had it that the president got the highest satisfaction rating of 72%. I noted the superlative word “highest” with a little bit of askance. It confused me.  Highest compared to that of Senate President Vicente Sotto III? Or that of Vice President Leni Robredo? Since when is the office of the president on the same level as that of the vice president or that of the senate president? And if they are not of the same level of authority and prominence, how can they be compared? So, to me the word “highest” as used in a supposed dramatic comparison is totally misleading. It is so absurd that I believed it was used as an ingenious propaganda tool.

In any case, let us take note that the September 2020 survey said that the president had a TRUST rating of 91%. I am putting the word trust in bold letters for purposes of emphasis. Compare this to the December 2020 poll where, as publicized, Duterte had the highest SATISFACTION (again in bold letters) 72% rating. What is really is the difference between “trust” and “satisfaction”? An apparent explanation from an observer stated that when you “trust” someone it goes with it your approval of what he does and that does not diminish even if you are not satisfied. In other words, “trust” and “satisfaction” in a survey mean the same. Therefore, we can say that the December 2020 when the president obtained 72% rating is a drop of about 20% compared to the September 2020 survey with 91% rating.

We were informed of two significant factors in the September 2020 survey. First, it was timed with the distribution of the SAP and second, the respondents were in the class E of our society and they were the beneficiaries of the SAP. The staggering results were, in my unschooled mind, a product of a deliberate propaganda scheme. To me, the 20% drop recorded in the December 2020 survey indicated a free fall instead of the “highest” satisfaction rating! If i am, indeed, wrong, i can only go back to the poster we sold at Oriental Book Store.  Am I the bewildered ape? What do you think?

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