At midterm mark, Duterte scores his highest satisfaction rating

Pia Ranada
At midterm mark, Duterte scores his highest satisfaction rating
After the Recto Bank incident dominates news headlines, 80% of Filipinos say they are satisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte's performance

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ends the first half of his presidency with his highest net satisfaction rating so far from a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

In its June survey, SWS found that Duterte scored +68 in net satisfaction rating for his performance as Chief Executive. This score bests his previous high of +66, recorded last March and in June 2017.

This latest poll said 80% of Filipinos are happy with Duterte’s performance, not much of a change from the 79% back in March. Meanwhile, 12% said they were dissatisfied. The percentage of those undecided was at 9%.

His new +68 score is classified as “very good” by SWS, the same rating as his previous high score. Net satisfaction rating is obtained by subtracting the percentage of those dissatisifed with an official’s performance from those satisfied.

SWS conducted its survey from June 22 to 26, or just a few days before June 30, which marked the end of the first half of Duterte’s presidency.

The survey was also done more than a week after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed that a Chinese fishing vessel rammed into a Filipino fishing boat in Philippine waters, and left its crew to the elements.

The incident and the way the Duterte government handled it dominated headlines in those weeks. Duterte himself had been criticized for his dismissive tone about the boat sinking. Vice President Leni Robredo, lawmakers, law experts, fisherfolk rights groups, and others had called on the Duterte administration to hold China accountable for the occurrence.

High marks in Balance of Luzon

Despite the high net satisfaction rating, SWS said Duterte’s satisfaction ratings in all geographical areas save for Balance of Luzon actually fell.

The biggest dip was in Mindanao, the President’s bailiwick, where his rating went down by 7 points – from +88 net satisfaction rating in March to +81 in June. Still, his rating stayed within the “excellent” range.

There was a three-point drop in Visayas (+66, from +69, still within “very good” range) and a two-point drop in Metro Manila (+59, from +61, still within “very good” range). 

What saved the day for Duterte was his ratings in Balance of Luzon. His net satisfiaction rating in that region rose by 9 points (+65, from +56).

Poorest Filipinos happier with Duterte performance

Duterte managed to maintain his “very good” net satisfacting ratings among all economic classes. But his ratings made a marked improvement among the country’s poorest, those in class E.

Class E Filipinos gave him a +68 net satisfaction rating, the highest they’ve ever given him. This is a 10-point improvement from his +58 net rating in March. Putting these numbers apart shows 81% of Class E Filipinos are satisfied with Duterte, from 74% in March.

On the opposite of the scale, the country’s wealthiest still gave Duterte a “very good” rating but satisfaction for his performance fell by 11 points (from +69 to +58). As of June, 76% of middle- to upper-class Filipinos would give Duterte a thumbs-up, compared to 83% in March.

Among the masses or Class D, Duterte’s net rating was unchanged at +68.

Satisfaction dips among college graduates

In terms of educational attainment, the greatest movements in satisfaction ratings were observed among college graduates and high school graduates.

Satisfaction over Duterte’s performance lessened among those with the highest level of educational attainment. His net satisfaction rating among college graduates went down by 11 points (+63, from +74), causing a downgrade from “excellent” to “very good.”

In June, 76% of college graduates were satisfied, compared to the 86% last March.

Meanwhile, high school graduates made up for the decline, giving him a +74 net rating – higher than his March score by 7 points.

SWS used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide to come up with this survey. It reported error margins of +/-3% for national percentages and +/-6% error margins for percentages for the 4 geographical regions. –

Go to The Halfway Mark, Rappler’s special report on President Duterte’s 3rd year in office, for more news, in-depth reports, analyses, podcasts, and videos. 

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Pia Ranada

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