Aquino gets highest satisfaction rating

The Palace says SWS survey 'affirms' President Benigno Aquino III's 'mandate for change'

'AFFIRMED' LEADER. President Benigno Aquino III gets his highest net satisfaction rating from SWS. Photo by Jay Morales/Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has received his highest net satisfaction rating since he assumed his post in June 2010, said the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in its latest report.

Aquino got a net satisfaction rating of +67 in a poll conducted from August 24 to 27, according to the SWS report first published on BusinessWorld on Thursday evening, September 6. This rating was equivalent to “very good.”

Aquino jumped from a record low of +42 in May, the SWS said.

In the latest survey, 77% of respondents expressed satisfaction with his performance, rising from 63% in May. Only 10% showed dissatisfaction, a dip from May’s 21%.

PUBLIC SATISFACTION. The SWS survey details Aquino's satisfaction rating. Chart from BusinessWorld

The survey period covered the following events that could have raised Aquino’s rating, said SWS: Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo’s death, the monsoon rain that inundated parts of Luzon, and the dismissal of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Aquino got the third highest satisfaction rating for a Philippine president since 1986, said SWS.

The highest was his mother Corazon Aquino’s all-time high net satisfaction rating of +72 in October 1986, followed by Fidel V Ramos who got +69 in July 1993. The President tied with Joseph Estrada, who also got +67 in March 1999.

The best score of his immediate predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was +30. Since the 2010 presidential campaign, Aquino has portrayed himself as Arroyo’s antithesis.

IN COMPARISON. Compared with other presidents, Benigno Aquino III gets consistently high satisfaction ratings from SWS. Chart from BusinessWorld

Palace hails ‘affirmation’

The Palace hailed the SWS survey as an “affirmation.”

“The consistently strong numbers affirm the President’s mandate for change; they are tangible indicators of the people’s support for the difficult yet necessary reforms the President has championed since day one,” said the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson in a statement late Thursday evening, September 6.

The Palace noted Aquino’s public satisfaction ratings have not dipped below 63% – “indicative of sustained satisfaction in the performance of the President.”

It also said the results “mirror the strong showing of the Philippines,” such as in the World Economic Forum’s recent Global Competitiveness Report. The report said the Philippines, which jumped 10 notches to rank 65th, showed one of the most improved performances.

“The results of these surveys, both within and beyond our borders, validate the brand of leadership that the President has continuously espoused – of transparency and accountability, of restoring social trust and rebuilding public institutions, and of honesty and integrity in public service,” the Palace said.

The Philippines, said the New York Times, is now also Asia’s “bright spot.”

‘Use political capital’

Meanwhile, the latest SWS survey boosts Aquino’s political capital, which, a number of Filipinos said, the President should “spend” on pushing for long-delayed bills. In Rappler’s comments section, netizen Andrew Lim urged Aquino to use his high rating to push for the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

One of the most contentious bills in history, the RH bill needs Aquino’s intervention due to rifts within his own party over it, said Majority Floor Leader and Liberal Party member Rep Neptali Gonzales II in a Newsbreak piece on Rappler. (Watch more in the video below.)

“While we want to maintain our independence, we really need somebody who will arbirtrate. If it’s just us, it would be difficult. This is the first time I’ve seen a bill divide the House to this extent. There is no demarcation between majority and minority,” Gonzales said.

Still in Rappler’s comments section, netizen Manny David said Aquino should use such “immense goodwill” to support the Freedom of Information bill, increase scholarships for poor students, ban relatives from seeking elective posts, and get competent people in government instead of mere “shooting buddies” (“kabarilan”). 

His long-time friend and shooting buddy, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno is now embroiled in controversy for allegedly trying to get sensitive documents from the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo’s condominium, a day after Robredo died. –

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