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Survey shows drop in approval of Aquino

President Benigno Aquino III. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—After a double-digit rebound in August, President Benigno Aquino III’s net satisfaction rating dropped in December, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The results of the SWS poll, conducted from Dec. 8 to 11, showed Mr. Aquino’s net satisfaction rating falling from plus 67 (77 percent satisfied minus 10 percent dissatisfied) in August to plus 55 (72 percent satisfied minus 17 percent dissatisfied).

The August rating of plus 67 was an improvement over the plus 42 that Mr. Aquino obtained in May (63 percent satisfied minus 21 percent dissatisfied).

The President’s declining net satisfaction rating cut across all regions, classes and genders.

Despite the dip, Mr. Aquino’s performance in the final quarter of 2012 was rated “very good.” His annual average net satisfaction rating was plus 53, still considered “very good.”

Malacañang deemed the President’s performance rating as “very good,” even with the dip of 12 points from August.

The decline was not worth crying over, said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

“That’s something that we do look at, and we think that it still shows that the President enjoys a very wide margin of support among the people. Excellent to very good—that’s nothing to cry about,” Valte said.

As for the cause of the decline, Secretary Herminio Coloma, head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, said the country still faced “a very massive poverty problem,” especially in the countryside, and the ratings would serve as “guideposts and alert signals” for the administration.

The survey, first published in Business World, asked 1,200 respondents nationwide “how satisfied or dissatisfied” they were with “the performance” of Mr. Aquino as President.

“Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, undecided if satisfied or dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied?” the SWS survey asked.

The survey used face-to-face interviews and had an error margin of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

By geographical region, Mr. Aquino’s rating slipped from plus 70 to  plus 54 in Luzon outside Metro Manila, plus 59 to plus 43 in Metro Manila, plus 76 to plus 64 in the Visayas, and plus 61 to plus 57 in Mindanao.

The President’s score dropped by 14 points in classes ABC and class D to plus 64 and plus 54, respectively, while it was down by six points to plus 56 in class E.

In the rural areas, Mr. Aquino’s rating slid from plus 70 to plus 60. He scored plus 49 in urban areas, against the previous plus 65.

Among males, the President’s net satisfaction rating was down from plus 67 to plus 56. His rating also slipped among women, from plus 67 to plus 55.

SWS considers a net satisfaction rating of plus 70 and above as “excellent”; plus 50 to plus 69, “very good”; plus 30 to plus 49, “good”; plus 10 to plus 29, “moderate”; plus 9 to minus 9, “neutral”; minus 10 to minus 29, “poor”; minus 30 to minus 49, “bad”; minus 50 to minus 69, “very bad,” and minus 70 and below, “execrable.”

According to Coloma, demographically, only 10 percent of the population were in economic classes A, B and C; 67 percent were in class D, which are minimum wage earners; and 23 percent constituted the poorest of the poor which are recipients of the government’s conditional cash transfer program.

“We cannot underestimate the depth and breadth of the poverty being experienced by our people, especially in areas hit by calamities and typhoons and natural disasters. So we really need to work even harder in order that we may achieve inclusive growth,” he said.

The President’s aggressive support for the reproductive health bill “may have been a contributory factor,” too, said Coloma, although this was not to blame for the decline in his satisfaction rating. Michael Lim Ubac and Ana Roa, Inquirer Research

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Tags: Aquino satisfaction rating , Benigno Aquino III , President Aquino , SWS poll , SWS survey

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