MANILA, Philippines - Seven out of 10 Filipinos are satisfied with the performance of President Aquino, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed yesterday.
The survey, conducted from Sept. 24 to 27, found 71 percent of 1,200 respondents satisfied and 11 percent dissatisfied with the performance of Mr. Aquino in his first three months in office, for a net satisfaction rating of 60 or “very good.”
Before taking his oath of office on June 30, Mr. Aquino’s net satisfaction rating was 83, the SWS said.
Results of the SWS poll, published in the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday, showed Mr. Aquino receiving “very good” ratings in all geographical areas.
He received a net score of 66 (76 percent satisfied, 10 percent dissatisfied) in Metro Manila, 65 in the balance of Luzon (73 percent satisfied, eight percent dissatisfied), 54 in the Visayas (68 percent satisfied, 14 percent dissatisfied) and 52 in Mindanao (67 percent satisfied, 15 percent dissatisfied).
The President received a net rating of 62 (72 percent satisfied, 10 percent dissatisfied) in urban areas while in rural areas his score was 58 (70 percent satisfied, 12 percent dissatisfied).
By socioeconomic class, Mr. Aquino obtained a “very good” rating among respondents in Classes E and D, with 64 (73 percent satisfied, nine percent dissatisfied) and 59 (71 percent satisfied, 11 percent dissatisfied), respectively.
His score was a “good” 49 among class ABC (65 percent satisfied and 16 percent dissatisfied).
By gender, the President received “very good” score or +62 (73 percent satisfied, 11 percent dissatisfied) among women and +68 (69 percent satisfied, 11 percent dissatisfied) among men.
SWS said Mr. Aquino’s starting score was better than the +53 net satisfaction rating received by his mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, in May 1986 and higher than the +24 score obtained by his predecessor, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in March 2001.
It matched the score received by former President Joseph Estrada (+60) in September 1998.
Former President Fidel Ramos received the highest satisfaction rating by a chief executive in September 1992 at +66.
Mr. Aquino’s +60 rating is not the highest in the post-Marcos history though, because his late mother garnered a +72 rating in October 1986, a few months after she took over the presidency from the late strongman.
Among all of Mr. Aquino’s predecessors, however, only Arroyo obtained a negative rating and an unprecedented historic low, -53 in March of this year, when her term was about to end on June 30.
Cory, as she was known, got a +7 separately in November 1990 and April 1992, when she was about to step down as president; Ramos obtained a +1 in October 1995 or halfway through his term, while Estrada, who was ousted in January 2001, obtained +5 in December 1999 and March 2000.
Palace happy with survey result
Meanwhile, Malacañang expressed appreciation over the latest SWS survey amid perceptions of indecisiveness over the bungled Aug. 23 hostage crisis.
“The President’s net satisfaction rating is +60, the highest in recent history, and in all classes, particularly D and E. It means the people are responding well to the programs of the Aquino administration,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
Valte said the result of the survey was an acknowledgment that a vast majority of the 90 million Filipinos believe in the vision of the government, which is to reduce poverty significantly and continue its fight against corruption.
“The pressure (to perform well) is always there. We’ll pursue all of these further,” she said. Valte’s immediate superior, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, had been very appreciative of expressions of support from practically all sectors, including the discriminating business community, and vowed to sustain the government’s efforts to improve the economy.
“It gives us the impetus to work harder, not only to help these businessmen but the people at large. This may not be felt within the first 100 days but this will have the same effect as we go through the entire six years,” Lacierda said.
He added that low popularity ratings would not be a reason for the Aquino administration to backtrack on its reform agenda, which includes responsible parenthood, among others.
“He (Aquino) said he will do his job regardless of what other people, the pundits, would have to say. He will do his job as President. It’s (popularity ratings) a non-issue for him,” Lacierda told reporters.
Helen Flores, Philippine Star