Malacañang says bright 2018 reason for high SWS ratings

Bea Cupin
Malacañang says bright 2018 reason for high SWS ratings
Malacañang cites list of 'reasons to be hopeful' in the coming year

MANILA, Philippines – Following the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed an increase in the satisfaction ratings of the Cabinet and a record-high number of Filipinos optimistic about the coming year, Malacañang said on Saturday, December 30, that “indeed, there are reasons to be hopeful.”

“The prospects for the future thus look bright. We therefore ask our citizens to help the administration in laying down the foundation of a prosperous and peaceful nation,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement on Saturday.

The SWS this week released results of its 2017 fourth quarter survey which showed a general increase in the net satisfaction ratings of the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet. Duterte’s alteregos got a net satisfaction rating of +38 (good).

“We have to point out that this figure, considered ‘good’ by the polling firm, is the highest net satisfaction rating given to the Cabinet since 1990,” said Roque.

Another record-high was the 96% of Filipinos who said they will welcome 2017 with hope instead of fear. The previous record-high was 95% in 2002, 2011, and 2016.

Roque said “there are reasons to be hopeful” in the year ahead, citing growth outlooks by the Asian Development Bank and Standard & Poor’s. Roque said economic activities in Mindanao are likely to grow given the “liberation” of Marawi. Martial law, however, is still in place and will remain in the region until the end of 2018.

The Palace spokesman also highlighted the first phase of the administration’s tax reform program and infrastructure plans as components that are “expected to prop up our economy in 2018.”

The first phase of the tax reform plan or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) adjusts income tax brackets while imposing higher tax on fuel, cars, tobacco, and sugary beverages.

While updated personal income tax brackets are long overdue in the country, some groups have called the tax plan “anti-poor” as the highers taxes are expected to lead to price hikes in fuel, basic commodities, fares, and power rates. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.