President Rodrigo Duterte emerged as the most trusted government official in December 2018, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.
In its survey on the performance and trust ratings of key government officials, Pulse Asia said the President capped 2018 with an 81 percent approval rating in the last month, driven by strong scores in Mindanao and the Visayas.
Duterte’s approval rating was up by six percentage points from his previous 75 percent mark in September 2018.
The President’s trust rating, on the other hand, was at 76 percent, registering four-percentage-point increase from his previous 72 percent in September 2018.
In the same survey, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo improved her trust and approval ratings, albeit from a low base.
Arroyo’s trust rating in December stood at 21 percent, up from 19 percent in September. Her approval rating, on the other hand, rose to 27 percent.
“Those trust ratings are not new to me,” she said when sought for comment. “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.”
“My thrust is to concentrate on my work. I already said it the last time, I am not a stranger to those kinds of ratings,” Arroyo added.
The approval rating of the House of Representatives also improved to 66 percent, up 10 percentage points from the previous 56 percent.
By region, Duterte received a 96 percent approval rating and a 91 percent trust rating in Mindanao; an 86 percent approval rating and 82 percent trust rating in the Visayas, and a 74 percent approval rating and 69 percent trust rating in Luzon.
His lowest ratings came from Metro Manila, where he received a 69 percent approval rating and a 67 percent trust rating.
The Palace welcomed the latest survey results.
“The survey results underscore that our people fully believe in the methods undertaken by the President in running the bureaucracy and the country,” the President’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said in a statement.
The figures mean the public supported the third extension of martial law in Mindanao, the implementation of the P2 hike in fuel excise tax, and the arrest of party-list members in Davao del Norte.
READ: Duterte keeps very good trust rating—SWS
The Palace official also said that the survey was taken at a time that the Church, human rights groups, the opposition, and the critics were lambasting Duterte for his “hyperbolic style of delivering narratives.”
“It appears that the tirades against the President have been ignored by a huge majority of Filipinos,” he added.
“The Pulse Asia survey is therefore another repudiation of the critics and detractors of [the President]. Their loud hysterical harping and assaulting the administration with their accusations and condemnation are in sharp contrast to the clamor of the Filipinos for genuine and transparent change,” Panelo said.
Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, received a 62 percent approval rating and a 56 percent trust rating.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III received a 74 percent approval rating and a 66 percent trust rating.
Pulse Asia noted that while Sotto’s ratings increased, Robredo’s decreased.
READ: Palace unmoved by poll clamor
Pulse Asia noted that the Senate remains the most approved and trusted government institution as it acquired the highest approval rating at 69 percent and trust rating at 65 percent.
The House of Representatives followed with a 66 percent approval rating and a 64 percent trust rating. The Supreme Court came last with a 64 percent approval rating and a 62 percent trust rating.
The survey, conducted from Dec. 14 to 21, 2018, used face-to-face interviews with 1,800 Filipino adults.
It has a +2.3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.
Some of the several key developments during the survey period was the Sandiganbayan’s decision finding Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos as guilty of graft, the acquittal of Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. from plunder charges, the House’s approval on final reading of the federalism charter, the conviction of three police offers tagged in the murder of Kian delos Santos, and the Congress’ approval on the third extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda, meanwhile, told the ANC news channel that candidates in the May elections cannot rely solely on endorsements from popular figures such as the President.
Beyond the endorsement, voters also look at the achievements and potentials of senatorial candidates, Tabunda told ANC’s Early Edition.
The most heavily endorsed candidate, former special assistant to the President, Christopher Go, has not managed to break into the winning circle of 12, despite an aggressive campaign using billboard and tarpaulins all over Metro Manila.
READ: Lawmakers laud Pinoys’ optimism in SWS survey
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