Palace questions poll on ‘daang matuwid’
MANILA, Philippines–Malacañang on Monday refused to accept that 36 percent of Filipinos believed that President Aquino had failed to deliver on his promise to lead the country toward “daang matuwid” (straight path).
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda rejected the idea that Filipinos were not satisfied with Aquino’s program of good governance, questioning why Pulse Asia conducted such a survey “only now.”
“That is not correct,” Lacierda said in a press briefing. “Perhaps you should ask the people from Pulse Asia. The ‘tuwid na daan’ has been an ongoing campaign for the past four years. Why is it that they conducted the survey only now?”
Public opinion on Aquino’s adherence to his “tuwid na daan” policy is split three-ways, results of the Pulse Asia survey conducted last month showed.
Of the 1,200 respondents, virtually the same percentage expressed disagreement (36 percent) and indecision (34 percent) on the matter. Twenty-nine percent agreed that the President had fulfilled his promise to follow a straight path.
The poll, conducted from Sept. 8 to 15, asked respondents to express agreement or disagreement with the statement: “President Aquino has fulfilled his promise to follow a straight path.”
The survey used face-to-face interviews and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level. Estimates for Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 6 percentage points.
Essentially, the same distribution of public opinion was observed in Metro Manila and among socioeconomic Classes D and E, Pulse Asia said.
Lacierda acknowledged that the survey took place “on the heels of the recent controversies, the recent difficulties that the administration [was] experiencing.”
“Of course, that’s a snapshot of the landscape when the survey was taken and it had an impact on the response of the people,” he said.
But Lacierda insisted that public sentiment on the President’s “tuwid na daan” program “cannot be contextualized” unless compared with another survey containing the same set of questions.
“It will be difficult for us to contextualize because there’s an absence of comparison,” he said. “It’s a snapshot so whatever were the circumstances during the taking of the survey would influence the reaction of the respondents.”
“I do hope that Pulse Asia will continue doing a survey on ‘tuwid na daan’ for us to have a basis to say which is which,” he added.
Lacierda declined to relate the Pulse Asia findings to the President’s refusal to let go of Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima, who is facing plunder charges before the Ombudsman.
Lacierda instead pointed to the 29 percent of the respondents who said Aquino had fulfilled his “daang matuwid” promise. He also noted that 34 percent remained undecided.
“So how can we say that the people do not believe [in ‘daang matuwid’]? This survey says that 29 percent agree, 34 percent have an open mind. If you add the two, it’s 63 percent,” he argued.
“So, perhaps, we should look at this survey based on the parameters upon which the survey was taken.”
“Nonetheless … our government is committed to providing good governance to the country. We have a number of programs, which we have initiated to address the poorest of the poor. We have poverty intervention programs, concerns addressing all the issues that our country faces,” he said.
Among the regions, the rest of Luzon accounted for the biggest percentage of respondents (45 percent) who said that the President had failed to adhere to his tuwid na daan policy.
The same opinion was shared by 43 percent of respondents among the Class ABC, 36 percent in Metro Manila and among Class D, 32 percent among Class E and 26 percent in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Ambivalence on the matter was most pronounced in the Visayas (43 percent).
When broken down, those who could not say whether the President had fulfilled his promise of following the straight path were as follows: 37 percent among Class E, 35 percent among Class D; 33 percent in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon; 30 percent in Mindanao; and 24 percent among Class ABC.
A big plurality of respondents from Mindanao (43 percent) were of the view that the President had been able to keep his promise of adhering to his policy of “tuwid na daan.”
The same sentiment was shared by 33 percent of respondents among Class ABC, 30 percent in Metro Manila, 29 percent in the Visayas and among Class E, 28 percent among Class D, and 22 percent in the rest of Luzon.
Among the issues in the news during the survey were the junking of three impeachment complaints against the President, President Aquino’s request for emergency powers to address the expected energy crisis next year, the transmittal of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress, and the President’s expression of trust in PNP Director General Purisima amid calls for the latter’s resignation.
Also prominent during the survey period were high prices, monstrous traffic jams and heavy flooding in Metro Manila and the constant breakdown of MRT 3.–With a report from Almi Ilagan-Atienza, Inquirer Research
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