Public satisfaction with Duterte gov’t rises in last quarter of 2018

Pia Ranada
The Duterte administration experiences marked improvements in the subject of 'promoting women's rights,' according to the results of a Social Weather Stations survey held in December 2018

GRADING THE ADMINISTRATION. President Rodrigo Duterte's administration gets good marks in SWS' December 2018 public satisfaction survey. Malacañang photo

MANILA, Philippines – The last quarter of 2018 was a good one for the Duterte administration, in terms of gaining satisfaction for its performance among Filipinos.

A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey held from December 16 to 19, 2018, showed 76% of Filipinos satisfied with the Duterte administration, giving it a net satisfaction rating of +66. In SWS categories, this is a “very good” rating. 

This is 16 points higher than its rating in the last survey held in September 2018.

SWS conducted face-to-face interviews with 1,440 adults nationwide. It reported a sampling error margin of ±5% each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Its sampling error margin for national percentages is ±2.6% 

Scores high in women’s rights, moderate in fighting inflation

Filipinos were also given the chance to rate the Duterte administration’s performance in specific governance tasks, producing what SWS calls its “Governance Report Card.”

The survey results show that the Duterte government’s net satisfaction rating improved by one grade on 5 specific subjects, compared to the last survey.

The 5 subjects that showed marked improvement were on “promoting women’s rights” (19 points up), “building and maintenance of public works” (4 points up), “deciding quickly” (17 points up), “transparency in government activities” (11 points up), and “fighting inflation” (6 points up).

Government Report Card for December 2018 survey

Subject December 2018 Rating Change since September 2018 Rating
Promoting women’s rights  +71 excellent +19
Building and maintenance of public works +70 excellent +4
Helping the poor  +68 very good +5
Protecting human rights +62 very good +8
Reconstructing Marawi City
+60 very good +2
Fighting terrorism +55 very good +2
Transparency in government activities +54 very good +11
Deciding quickly +50 very good +17
Fighting crimes  +44 good +1
Reconciling with Muslim rebels  +43 good +2
Eradicating graft and corruption  +42 good +4
Defending Philippine sovereignty in the West PH Sea
+40 good +1
Reconciling with communist rebels
+39 good -3
Fulfilling commitments in international treaties
+39 good -1
Foreign relations +38 good -2
Ensuring that no family will ever be hungry +28 moderate +5
Fighting inflation
+14 moderate +6

Malacañang welcomed the survey results, noting that the rise in public satisfaction is a “vote of public confidence and demonstration of the people’s unshakeable trust” in the administration.

In a statement on saying on Tuesday, March 12, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo also highlighted the 19-point increase in net satisfaction rating for “protecting women’s rights.”

“These figures are loud and clear repudiations of the critics and detractors of PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) who have described him as misogynistic, anti-poor, and anti-human rights,” said Panelo.

The survey was held weeks before Duterte’s “confession” before a public assembly that he molested their family maid as a teenager, which Malacañang dismissed as just one of his many “jokes.”

The latest survey results were released on the same day Duterte slammed his female critics for “depriving” him of freedom of expression when they doubled down on calling him out for his crude remarks, which have included rape jokes. (READ: From ‘fragrant’ Filipinas to shooting vaginas: Duterte’s top 6 sexist remarks) –

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at