Trust in Duterte erodes among poor, improves among rich – SWS poll

Camille Elemia
Trust in Duterte erodes among poor, improves among rich – SWS poll
President Rodrigo Duterte generally enjoys an 'excellent' trust rating in the latest Social Weather Stations survey, but there is an 8-point drop among the class E

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte still enjoys an “excellent” trust rating from the public overall, but trust in him is eroding among the poor, according to the March 2017 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The SWS poll, conducted from March 25 to 28, found 80% of Filipinos have “much trust” in the President, while only 10% have “little trust” in him and another 10% were undecided. This gave a net trust rating of +70, down by 2 points from December 2016.

However, another survey by Pulse Asia, conducted around the same time from March 15 to 20, showed Duterte’s national trust rating dipping to 76% from 83% in December 2016. It was a 7-percentage point decline, his biggest drop in public trust since he was elected Chief Executive. 

According to SWS, Duterte’s net trust rating has been “excellent” for 4 straight quarters, since rising from the moderate 26% in May 2016.

Malacañang welcomed the results, saying the President “continues to be the most trusted national leader” to date.

“His net trust rating has been excellent for 4 consecutive quarters, considering the deeply entrenched culture of illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption. We urge Filipinos to be vigilant and engaged partners in active pursuit of change,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Sunday, May 7.

Decline among the poor, increase in Class ABC

But there was a noticeable decline in the poor’s trust in Duterte. Trust in the President fell from “excellent” to “very good” among class E respondents, down by 8 points from +72 in December to +64 in March.

It was the opposite for the rich, as Duterte’s ratings rose from “very good” to “excellent” in class ABC. It was up by 16 points from +59 in December to +75 in March.

It stayed “excellent” in class D or the masa, with a slight decline from +73 to +71.

The SWS survey was conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide – 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

It has an error margin of ±3% for the national level and ±6% each for the regions.

Dip in Visayas, Luzon; rise in NCR, Mindanao

Duterte’s net trust rating declined by 6 points in both the Visayas and the rest of Luzon – both from “very good” +69 to “very good” +63.

But this was compensated by the 9-point increase in Metro Manila (from “very good” +65 in December to “excellent” +74 in March) and a 4-point increase in his home region of Mindanao (“excellent” +85 to “excellent” +89).

The President’s net trust rating also stayed excellent in urban areas, although slightly down from +73 in December to +72 in March.

It fell by one grade from “excellent” to “very good” in rural areas, down by 3 points from +71 to +68.

Earlier, SWS released the results of Duterte’s satisfaction rating through BusinessWorld. The President received a “very good” net satisfaction rating of +63 – same as the rating he got in December 2016.

The net ratings are classified as follows:

  • +70 and above – excellent
  • +50 to +69 – very good
  • +30 to +49 – good
  • +10 to +29 – moderate
  • +9 to -9 – neutral
  • -10 to -29 – poor
  • -30 to -49 – bad
  • -50 to -69 – very bad
  • -70 and below – execrable 


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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email