Majority of Pinoys satisfied with Aquino’s work – survey

(Photo from The Official Gazette of the Philippines’ Official Facebook Page and Malacañang Photo Bureau)

By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent

MANILA – In the latest Pulse Asia survey released recently, only President Aquino among the top officials included in the list got the majority approval rating of 52 percent.

“Only President Benigno Aquino III obtained a majority approval rating in March 2016; not one of the country’s top national officials has the trust of most Filipinos,” Pulse Asia noted.

The latest March 2016 Ulat ng Bayan survey was conducted between March 12-18, 2016 using face-to-face interviews of 1,800 respondents of registered voters aged 18 years old and above.

The survey (actual interviews conducted) follows through some of the following local and international issues/headlines:

• Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disqualify Senator Grace Poe as a presidential candidate in May 2016 elections and SC’s order for COMELEC to provide and activate the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) function of the vote counting machines (VCM) for the May elections.

• The joint motion for reconsideration seeking for the disqualification of presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe filed by four petitioners where they stressed her failure to meet the qualifications for citizenship and residency required by the law for any presidential candidates.

• SC’s denial of the COMELEC’s motion for reconsideration in connection with SC’s ruling requiring the commission to issue voter receipts (that will serve as a proof that their votes have been counted by the machines) for the May elections.

• The first presidential debate for the May 2016 elections in Cagayan de Oro City last February 21 were all five candidates for president participated and the first forum for the candidates for vice-president in Makati City held last March 14 with only four out of the six candidates for vice-president participated.

• National People’s Coalition’s (NPC) expression of support for the Poe-Escudero tandem in the May 2016 elections and United Nationalist Alliance’s support for Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao as one of its senatorial candidates after his infamous statement regarding same-sex relationships.

• Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) investigation regarding the $81-million Bangladesh bank heist controversy and the ongoing senate probe into the possible involvement of 6 individuals in the electronic fraud and money-laundering scheme involving several other bank accounts under Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) which was used to move the money stolen from Bangladesh to the PH financial system.

• The executive session requested by Maia Deguito, RCBC Jupiter Street branch’s manager, during which she vowed to disclose everything she knows about the $81-million money laundering case. Senator Sergio Osmeña then said that Deguito could be used as a witness as she’s not the “mostguilty party in the case.”

• AMLC’s call to ease or lift the bank secrecy law under certain conditions to prevent incidences of money laundering. Senator Osmeña expressed his support regarding the easing of the country’s bank secrecy law and the inclusion of gaming and even real estate brokers and art dealers in the anti-money laundering law.

• Other issues included the Commission on Audit’s (COA) for VP Binay to be sanctioned for grave misconduct, dishonesty, corrupt practices, etc. in connection with the overpriced Makati City Hall Parking Building II, Ombudsman’s filing of charges against six former members of the lower house including Janet Napoles, officials from DBM, Technology Resource Center (TRC), National Business Corporation (NabCor) and several NGOs regarding the PDAF scam and the SC’s decision to reject the various petitions to issue a temporary restraining order regarding the implementation of K-12 to name a few.

Approval rating
While only President Aquino got the majority approval of over half of Filipinos at 52 percent, other top officials like Vice-president Jejomar Binay and Senate President Franklin Drilon each got a 46 percent approval rating.

According to Pulse Asia, almost half of Filipinos cannot say if they approve or disapprove of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. at 30 percent. Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno meanwhile got 31 percent.

In terms of the areas where the President got appreciation for presidential performance, according to Pulse Asia, Aquino got a majority approval rating in Luzon with 51 percent, Visayas with 59 percent and Mindanao with 58 percent and mostly among Class E respondents with 58 percent.

“Half of those in Class D (50 percent) also approved of President Aquino’s work while almost the same percentages of those in Class ABC either approved of the same (45 percent) or expressed indecision on the matter (30 percent),” the survey revealed.

While in Metro Manila, Aquino got the lowest approval rating which according to Pulse Asia, was split three-ways with 36 percent being the critical of his quarterly performance, 33 percent approving of the same and 32 percent expressing ambivalence on the matter.

Meanwhile, 18 percent of the respondents disapproved of Aquino’s performance while over 30 percent of them were undecided.

Binay’s approval rating
In the January 2016 Ulat ng Bayan survey, where none of the five got the majority approval ratings, Vice-president and presidential candidate Jejomar Binay got an approval rating of 47 percent, dropping five points lower than his December 2015 (of the same survey) approval rating of 52 percent.

According to the survey, Binay only got the majority approval rating among Class E respondents with 54 percent.

“Approval in the latter is the plurality sentiment in the rest of Luzon (47 percent), Mindanao (49 percent), and Class D (45 percent). Virtually the same ratings were scored by Vice-president Binay in Class ABC (32 percent approval, 29 percent indecision, and 39 percent disapproval),” the survey added.

In post from Rappler, a 6-percentage point rise in the approval ratings of Belmonte (From 24 percent to 30 percent) and Sereno (25 percent to 31 percent)while Senate President Drilon got a 2-percentage point rise from 44 percent to 46 percent.

“The rise in approval for the quarterly performance of House Speaker Belmonte and Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno becomes more notable not only at the national level (both at +6 percentage points) but also in Mindanao (+11 and +18 percentage points, respectively) and Class D (+7 and +6 percentage points, respectively),” Pulse Asia noted according to Rappler.

Trust ratings
In terms of trust ratings, none of the country’s top five officials got the majority trust ratings.

President Aquino got 49 percent followed by Binay at 44 percent, Drilon at 42 percent, Belmonte at 27 percent and Sereno at 30 percent.

According to Rappler, President Aquino’s trust ratings got a lift compared to the previous survey with a 10-percentage point from 39 percent, now at 49 percent.

Sereno and Belmonte also obtained higher trust ratings, a 9-percentage point difference for Sereno from 21 percent to 30 percent and a 7-point percent difference for Belmonte from 20 percent to 27 percent.

According to Pulse Asia, both Binay and Drilon saw a 4-percentage point decline in their trust ratings compared to the previous survey with Binay gaining more distrust points compared to the previous result from 22 percent in February to 27 percent in March – a 5-percent point gain.

Supreme Court
According to the latest Ulat ng Bayan survey, “The Supreme Court is the only key government institution to record a majority approval rating in March 2016; there are very few changes in these institutions’ performance ratings between December 2015 and March 2016.”

Based on the survey’s result, the Higher Court got the same approval rating as that of Aquino with 52 percent.

Less of that however expressed the same approval of other key government institution such as the Senate at 49 percent and the House of Representatives at 41 percent.

Furthermore, in the case of the latter, virtually the same percentage of Filipinos either approved of its work (41 percent) or expresesed ambivalence on the matter (44 percent). These leading government institutions received essentially the same disapproval scores (10 percent to 11 percent),” according to the survey.