“Puzzling” was how the Office of the Vice President (OVP) described the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey in which public satisfaction with Vice President Jejomar Binay slipped, spoiling his “excellent” rating streak that stretched for five quarters.
The net satisfaction ratings of other government officials and institutions also declined in March.
The survey, conducted from March 19 to 22, found Binay’s net satisfaction rating dropping eight points from an “excellent” 70 (79 percent satisfied, 9 percent dissatisfied) in December 2012 to a “very good” 62 (75 percent satisfied, 13 percent dissatisfied) in March.
Results of the survey, first published in BusinessWorld, used 1,200 face-to-face interviews nationwide and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
In an earlier report, President Aquino’s net satisfaction rating went up by four points from 55 in December to 59 in March, both within the “very good” category.
In a statement, the OVP on Monday observed that the SWS survey overlapped with that of Pulse Asia but produced divergent results.
“While SWS showed a decline [of eight points], the Pulse Asia survey showed an increase of six points in the Vice President’s performance and trust ratings,” it noted.
Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, said despite that, the Vice President remained grateful for his high approval ratings. “Since 2012, the Vice President’s ratings ranged from very good to excellent,” Salgado said.
Since Binay assumed the vice presidency in June 2010, his net satisfaction ratings ranged from a low of 57 in November 2010 to a high of 76 in August 2012.
Binay is campaigning for the senatorial slate of the “opposition” United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which includes his daughter Nancy.
The Binays have been accused of building a political dynasty, as the Vice President’s son is a reelectionist mayor in Makati City while another daughter is running for reelection as representative of the city. The wife of the Vice President, like himself, is a former mayor of Makati.
The Catholic Church is among the groups campaigning against political dynasties in the country.
A political analyst is not puzzled at all by the decline in Binay’s satisfaction rating.
Ramon Casiple said Monday night that backlash over the issue of political dynasty was the main reason for the drop in the net satisfaction rating of Binay.
“A turn-off is the charge of political dynasty. There’s no doubt in the minds of the people that he brought in his daughter as a senatorial candidate simply because she is his daughter,” Casiple said by phone.
The perception that Binay was “too eager” to become the country’s next leader also did him in, he said. “He has an image problem. He has come across as too eager for the position. He’s the only one who has announced his candidacy,” he said.
The net satisfaction rating of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, a stalwart of the UNA like Binay, suffered a 17-point decline from a “good” 47 (63 percent satisfied, 16 percent dissatisfied) in December 2012 to a still “good” 30 [rounded off] (53 percent satisfied, 24 percent dissatisfied) in the latest survey.
As Senate President, Enrile’s satisfaction ratings ranged from a low of 5 in December 2008 to a high of 65 in August 2012.
Slew of controversies
Enrile is campaigning for his son Jack, a senatorial candidate of UNA.
Casiple said a slew of controversies—the grant of bonuses to favored senators, smuggling in Port Irene, in his home province of Cagayan, and his son’s checkered past—pulled down the net satisfaction rating of Enrile.
“That was corruption; unlawful or illegitimate use of public money,” he said of Enrile’s grant of P1.6 million in additional maintenance and other operating expenses to 18 senators last Christmas. Four senators critical of Enrile each received only P250,000.
Belmonte, Sereno slide
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.’s net satisfaction rating slid by four points, from 15 in December 2012 to 11 in March. Both numbers are within the “moderate” rating.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno registered a five-point decline from a “moderate” 14 in December 2012 to a “neutral” 9 in March.
The SWS classifies a net satisfaction rating of 70 and above as “excellent”; 50 to 69, “very good”; 30 to 49, “good”; 10 to 29, “moderate”; 9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; -50 to -69, “very bad”; and -70 and below, “execrable.”
The net satisfaction ratings of major institutions also declined, with the Senate slipping by six percentage points from December 2012’s “very good” 51 (65 percent satisfied, 14 percent dissatisfied) to a “good” 45 (63 percent satisfied, 18 percent dissatisfied) in the latest survey.
Net satisfaction with the Cabinet also fell by three percentage points from 26 (45 percent satisfied, 19 percent dissatisfied) in the previous quarter to 23 (44 percent satisfied, 21 percent dissatisfied).
On the other hand, the Supreme Court and the House of Representatives’ net satisfaction ratings slipped by two percentage points.
The high court’s rating fell from 36 (55 percent satisfied, 18 percent dissatisfied) to 34 (54 percent satisfied, 20 percent dissatisfied) in the latest survey.
The House’s net satisfaction rating declined from 31 (50 percentage satisfied, 20 percentage dissatisfied) in the previous quarter to 29 (49 percent satisfied, 20 percent dissatisfied) in March.—Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research; Jerry E. Esplanada and TJ A. Burgonio