Majority of Filipinos approve of Aquino’s work – Pulse Asia survey

KD Suarez
Majority of Filipinos approve of Aquino’s work – Pulse Asia survey
Only President Benigno Aquino III gets a majority approval rating while none of the country's top officials get a majority trust rating in the March 2016 Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey

MANILA, Philippines – Majority of Filipinos still approve of the performance of President Benigno Aquino III, based on the latest Pulse Asia survey, but the same poll showed he barely has the trust of the majority.

The Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey released Monday, April 4, showed that among the country’s top 5 officials, only Aquino received a majority approval rating, registering a 52% score.

Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Franklin Drilon both got approval ratings of 46%, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno got 31%, and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr, 30%.

Aquino got a majority approval rating in the provinces (51% in Luzon, 59% in the Visayas, and 58% in Mindanao), and among class E respondents (58%), in the survey conducted March 12-18.

His lowest approval rating comes from the National Capital Region (33%) and among class ABC respondents (45%). His approval rating among Class D respondents is at 50%.

“Public opinion toward the President’s quarterly work is split 3 ways in Metro Manila with 36% being critical of his performance, 33% approving of the same, and 32% expressing ambivalence on the matter,” Pulse Asia said.

Meanwhile, 18% disapprove of Aquino’s performance, while 30% are undecided.

Approval ratings up except for Binay

All of the officials except Binay got a bump in their ratings compared to their January ratings. (READ previous Ulat ng Bayan results: Aquino, Binay, other officials get lower approval ratings)

Belmonte and Sereno both got a 6-percentage point rise in their approval ratings (from 24% to 30% for Belmonte, and from 25% to 31% for Sereno), while Drilon got a 2-percentage point rise (from 44% to 46%).

“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.

Aquino’s overall approval rating got a 3-percentage point rise compared to his rating in January (49%).

Binay, in contrast, received a higher disapproval rating – from 21% in January, it is now at 25%, a rise of 4 percentage points. He also has the highest disapproval rating among the 5 officials.

Aquino recovers in trust rating

No one among the country’s top officials, however, got a majority trust rating.

Aquino had the highest trust rating among the 5 (49%), followed by Binay (44%), Drilon (42%), Sereno (30%), and Belmonte (27%).

Across all geographic regions and economic classes, Aquino’s trust rating rose compared to the last Ulat ng Bayan survey, helping him recover by 10 percentage points overall (from 39%).

Sereno and Belmonte also saw higher trust ratings compared to the previous survey (from 21% to 30% for Sereno, and from 20% to 27% for Belmonte).

Drilon and Binay both lost 4 percentage points in their trust ratings, compared to the previous results, while only Binay saw his distrust rating rise (from 22% in February to 27% in March, up 5 percentage points).

Aquino also had the biggest change among undecided respondents, from 37% in February to 30% in March, a 7-percentage point difference.

SC gets majority approval

The Ulat ng Bayan survey also showed that among the top 3 government institutions, only the Supreme Court (SC) managed to receive a majority approval rating.

The SC got an overall rating of 52%, while the Senate got a rating of 49% and the House of Representatives, 41%.

The SC’s approval rating is up 7 percentage points compared to figures back in December 2015 (45%).

Pulse Asia also noted that the number of people saying they approve of the House’s performance is roughly the same as those who are ambivalent towards it (44% undecided).

The 3 institutions also have similar disapproval scores.

During the conduct of the survey, some of the major issues that were in the news were the SC ruling on Senator Grace Poe’s disqualification case; the first presidential debate in Cagayan de Oro; the start of the investigation on the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist; the death of Senator Jovito Salonga; and the recommendation of the Commission on Audit that Vice President Binay be charged over the Makati City Hall Parking Building II controversy.

The survey was conducted via face-to-face interviews of 1,800 registered voters, and has a +/- 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level.

Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: ± 6% for Metro Manila, ± 3% for the rest of Luzon, and ± 5% for each of the Visayas and Mindanao.

“Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort,” the survey firm said. –

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