MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III’s trust ratings for the first quarter of 2014 dropped despite high-profile arrests and a historic peace deal, a poll showed on Thursday, but the decline was deemed insignificant by the pollster.
Pulse Asia Survey results released on Thursday showed that Aquino’s trust ratings dropped to 69 percent in March, from 74 percent in December 2013.
The trust ratings sharply dropped in the National Capital Region to 57 percent from 69 percent, and in Visayas to 69 percent from 81 percent, the survey showed.
The president’s trust ratings among the Class E also dropped drastically to 69 percent from 80 percent, the poll said.
Despite the decline, “the majority sentiment is one of trust in him,” the pollster said.
“Distrust is a sentiment shared by only 9 percent of Filipinos while 22 percent cannot say if they trust or distrust the President,” Pulse Asia added.
The president’s performance ratings also dipped to 70 percent in March from 73 percent in December 2013, the survey said.
The decline was more prominent in the National Capital Region (to 57 percent from 69 percent) and in Visayas (to 72 percent from 82 percent). The dip was also sharp among the members of the Class ABC (to 62 percent from 71 percent) and among Class E (to 70 percent from 79 percent).
But the pollster said the changes in Aquino’s trust and performance ratings were only “marginal movements” and thus were not “significant.”
“The changes in President Aquino’s performance and trust ratings at the national level and in the different survey sub-groupings during the period December 2013 to March 2014 are not considered significant in light of the relevant error margins,” Pulse Asia said.
Also, more Filipinos still have trust in the president, the poll added.
“Seven in 10 Filipinos or 70 percent express appreciation for the work done by President Aquino in the first quarter of 2014,” Pulse Asia said.
“Majority approval scores are enjoyed by the President in all geographic areas and socio-economic classes (57 percent to 80 percent and 62 percent to 72 percent, respectively). Visayans and Mindanaoans are more inclined to approve of the President’s work than Metro Manilans (72 percent to 80 percent versus 57 percent),” the pollster added.
The slight dip in the president’s ratings were noted despite major breakthroughs in the Aquino administration, among them the anticipated historic signing of the peace pact between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as well as the arrests of high-profile fugitive businessman Delfin Lee and top communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.
The other news during the time of the survey were the continuing investigation on the pork barrel scam, the Mindanao power crisis, the voiding of the Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of Manila Electric Co.’s power rate hike, the agreement between Philippines and United States on increased presence of American troops in the country, and announcements of presidential bids in 2016.
Other news were the passage of the Freedom of Information bill in the Senate despite the President’s failure to certify the bill as urgent, and the committee approval of a charter change resolution in the House of Representatives.
The survey was conducted from March 19 to 26 on a sample of 1,200 respondents who were aged 18 years old and above and spread across the country.