Duterte approval rating of 87 percent in December attributed to poverty reduction, SEA Games ‘high’
MANILA, Philippines –President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval rating climbed nine notches to 87 percent in December, the latest Pulse Asia Research Inc. survey showed and which his economic team attributed to lower poverty rate and a festive mood following the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).
After a meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (Neda ICC-CabCom) last Friday, economic managers led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia showed to reporters a table comparing the performance ratings of Mr. Duterte in September and December 2019.
The table showed that the President’s approval rating across the Philippines in December rose from 78 percent of respondents in September.
Nationwide, disapproval of Duterte’s performance declined by 3 percentage points to 5 percent from 8 percent previously, while those who said they were undecided also declined to 8 percent in December from 14 percent last September.
But in the National Capital Region, the President’s approval rating declined by 2 percentage points to 78 percent, even as the rest of the country gave Duterte higher ratings than two months ago.
In the balance of Luzon, his approval climbed 14 percentage points to 83 percent; in the Visayas, up 9 percentage points to 93 percent; and in Mindanao, up 6 percentage points to 98 percent.
Duterte’s total urban approval rating jumped 16 percentage points to 89 percent, while total rural rating inched up 3 percentage points to 86 percent.
Across social classes, the President’s approval rating rose 14 percentage points to 89 percent among the “ABC” class; up 10 percentage points to 88 percent in the “D” class; and unchanged at 84 percent among the members of the “E” class.
Duterte remained popular to both males (up 2 percentage points to 87 percent) and females (up 16 percentage points to 88 percent), the Pulse Asia survey showed.
Reacting to the survey results, Dominguez said: “If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time ever that, at this point in any administration, that the President has reached this high… I think this is a historical high at any President from this stage.”
Pernia said the high approval rating of the President in December “doesn’t even include yet his calling attention to the two concessionaires about the onerous conditions—that’s something that will be welcomed by the people, for sure,” referring to Duterte’s order to review the contracts between the government and two concessionaires—Ayala-led Manila Water Company Inc. and Pangilinan-led Maynilad Water Services Inc. to distribute water in Metro Manila and surrounding areas.
“And the other thing that will be welcome also is the news about poverty reduction, which has been quite substantial,” Pernia added, referring to the drop in poverty rate to 16.6 percent in 2018 from 23.3 percent in 2015.
Also, Dominguez said the good performance of Filipino athletes during the recently concluded 30th SEA Games—where the Philippines amassed the most gold medals to snatch the overall championship among 11 participating countries—would further boost Duterte’s approval ratings.
Edited by TSB
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