Despite the relentless attacks mostly against his fiery speeches, President Rodrigo Duterte continues to enjoy a strong 81 percent approval and 76 percent trust, based on the recent Pulse Asia survey released yesterday.
The latest Pulse Asia Survey is a testament to how this administration is attuned to the needs of the greater majority
In a survey conducted between 14 to 21 December 2018, the President’s approval rating was up six percentage points from 75 percent in September 2018 while his trust rating was four points higher than his score in the third quarter.
Duterte, the country’s first Mindanaoan president, received almost perfect scores in Mindanao while his lowest trust and approval ratings came from the National Capital Region.
Malacañang welcomed the survey results as proof of Mr. Duterte’s relatability with the public.
“The latest Pulse Asia Survey is a testament to how this administration is attuned to the needs of the greater majority,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Martin Andanar said. “This government will continue to focus on the goal of giving a ‘comfortable life for all’ rid of hard drugs, criminality and corruption.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo earned a 62 percent approval rating and a 56 percent trust rating.
As for the Legislative branch, Senate President Vicente Sotto III obtained a 76 percent approval rating and a 66 percent trust rating.
Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, meanwhile, received the lowest rating of only a 27 percent approval rating and 21 percent trust.
The survey, conducted nationwide, was based on a sample of 1,800 respondents aged 18 and above.
Arroyo said she is not a stranger to those rankings.
“Remember, I was pilloried very much when I was President, so I haven’t done much to overcome that because I just have to do my work,” she explained.
She said her only thrust was to concentrate on her work in delivering on the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Arroyo received the lowest rating of only a 27 percent approval rating and 21 percent trust.
“I already said it the last time. I am not a stranger to those kinds of rating,” she reiterated.
In a televised interview, political analyst Ranjit Rye said the improvement in Duterte’s approval and trust rating may be attributed to his programs that have started to “kick in.”
“People are now reckoning what the President has promised and what he has actually achieved,” Rye said. “To sustain this high popularity and trust ratings would require implementation of programs and better roll out of services which the President has continued to promise.”
Sustained high ratings
The political analyst noted that Duterte’s high approval and trust ratings are “surprising” given that the President is going in to his third year.
“This is quite startling for those in the opposition who are hoping that his approval and trust rating would take a nosedive by the end of the year 2018,” Rye said. “Apparently, a lot of Filipinos still like him.”
“Senate President Sotto enjoys an increase in his trust score in the rest of Luzon, but Vice President Robredo’s own rating declines in the Visayas,” Pulse Asia said.
Duterte’s high approval and trust ratings are “surprising” given that the President is going in to his third year.
The Senate, which failed to pass the 2019 budget before it adjourned for the Christmas holidays, scored a 69 percent performance approval and a 65 percent trust rating while the Supreme Court — which had several leadership changes in 2018 — obtained a 64 percent approval rating and a 62 percent trust score.
HnP drumbeats bets
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte also sees a need to intensify campaign for Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) senatorial bets who are not included in the Top 12 of the recent Pulse Asia Survey, namely, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, JV Ejercito and Secretary Francis Tolentino.
In an interview, Duterte said they will campaign harder for these candidates to get them into the Top 12 and ensure that they win in the May midterm elections.
This government will continue to focus on the goal of giving a “comfortable life for all” rid of hard drugs, criminality and corruption.
“When we saw the survey, we realized that there is a need to work harder to push for candidates, especially Bong Go, JV Ejercito and Secretary Francis Tolentino. We need to push for these candidates more,” she said.
The mayor said she will try to be visible in their campaigns outside Davao City but didn’t commit to be really there for them all the time as she has commitments to her constituents.
She has also promised Imee Marcos to help in her campaign in Mindanao through an ad campaign.
“Yes, I promised Imee to help her in Mindanao and we made an ad campaign together,” she said.
HnP, a regional political party formed by the President’s daughter, has endorsed eight senatorial candidates in the 2019 midterm polls, including Harry Roque, Zajid Mangudadatu, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano and Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, who is in the top 12 in the latest Pulse Asia survey.
with Kristina Maralit and Hananeel Bordey, Maya Padillo