For the first time, Speaker rates higher than Robredo – Pulse Asia

Mara Cepeda

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For the first time, Speaker rates higher than Robredo – Pulse Asia
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, elected as top House leader in July, gets better approval and trust ratings than the Vice President in September

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano received a 62% trust rating and 64% approval rating in the September poll by Pulse Asia, marking the first time a House leader rated higher than Vice President Leni Robredo. 

In the past surveys done by the polling firm during the Duterte administration, the Speaker – first, Pantaleon Alvarez, then Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – had always been less popular than the Vice President, who had been the subject of relentless attacks from the President, his allies, and their social media machinery. (READ: Who were targets of disinformation in 2018? | Robredo to Duterte: Get to work, stop insulting me) 

Cayetano also lost to Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential election. He was elected Speaker only last July

Robredo, meanwhile, saw dips in her trust and approval ratings in September compared to her numbers in June, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Monday, October 7. Her trust rating fell by 6 points from 52% in June to 46% in September, while her approval rating decreased to 50% in September from 55% in June.     

The Pulse Asia survey released on Monday was conducted from September 16 to 22 and polled 1,200 adult respondents on their appreciation and trust for the country’s top 5 officials: Duterte, who scored the highest; Robredo; Cayetano; Senate President Vicente Sotto III; and Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin. 

The survey was conducted at the height of the controversy surrounding the early release of convicts through Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law, the Senate investigation on the alleged “GCTA-for-sale” and “hospital pass-for-sale” schemes in the New Bilibid Prison, the return of polio in the Philippines after 19 years, and death of Philippine Military Academy Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio due to hazing

The Cayetano-led House of Representatives passed the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 on 3rd and final reading on September 20, right in the middle of the Pulse Asia survey period. 

The SC is also expected to soon release its ruling on the initial vote recount in the electoral protest filed by Marcos against Robredo.  

Ratings by geographic area, social class

In terms of geographic area, Robredo’s trust rating improved by 13 points in the National Capital Region (NCR) to 44% and by 2 points to 60% in the Visayas. But these increases were offset by a 14-point decrease in balance of Luzon, where she got a 38% rating, and an 8-point dip in Mindanao, where her trust rating was at 49% in September. 

Cayetano is most trusted by residents of Mindanao, who gave him a 76% rating followed by 70% from the Visayas. The Speaker also got a 57% trust rating in NCR while he got a 53% trust rating from the rest of Luzon. 

Among socio-economic classes, Robredo was most trusted by those from Class E, where her rating improved by 7 points to 63%. This was followed by 43% from Class D and 37% from Classes ABC. 

The same pattern can be seen in Cayetano’s trust rating per social class. He recorded the highest trust rating in Class E with 67%, followed by 61% from Class D, and 51% from Classes ABC.

The Vice President’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said they are treating Robredo’s latest trust and approval ratings as a “challenge to redouble” their efforts to keep the public informed about the Vice President’s anti-poverty initiatives. 

“We take the latest survey results as a challenge to redouble our efforts both in continuing to serve the public and keeping the Filipino people better informed of the work VP Leni is doing,” said Gutierrez.

“We are likewise grateful that the VP continues to enjoy significant support from our fellow Filipinos. This support will further strengthen her commitment to stay true to her Constitutional mandate, uphold our nation’s interests, and work to uplift the lives of our people, especially the poor and marginalized,” he added.

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, meanwhile, said they are “collectively proud” of Cayetano’s initial approval and trust ratings.  

“Truly, nothing warms the heart of public servants more than the appreciation of our constituents. The trust and approval extended by our countrymen to Speaker Cayetano will definitely prompt all of us in the House of Representatives to work harder in the legislative mill in the days to come,” said Romualdez. 

Lower grades for Sotto, slight changes for Bersamin

In the same Pulse Asia survey, Sotto saw single-figure decreases in his trust and approval ratings. 

The Senate President’s trust rating decreased by 7 points last month, from 73% in June to 66% in June. He received a 72% trust rating from both NCR and Mindanao, while Visayas gave him 69%. His trust rating was lowest in Luzon at 61%. 

Sotto’s approval rating also went down by 5 points from 77% in June to 72% in July. Just like with his trust ratings, both NCR and Mindanao gave him similar ratings at 74%. These were followed by Sotto’s 77% trust rating in the Visayas and 69% from Luzon.

Bersamin saw a minimal one-point decrease in trust rating in September, which was at 34%. In terms of geographic area, the Chief Justice was most trusted by those in the Mindanao, who gave him a 44% trust rating, while those in the Visayas gave him 39%. Bersamin’s trust rating in Luzon was at 28%, while his number in NCR was at 26%. 

The Chief Justice’s approval rating also improved by one point to 42% in September. His highest approval rating came from the Visayas at 54%, followed by Mindanao at 47%. Bersamin’s approval rating in Luzon, meanwhile, was at 37%. His approval rating in NCR was the lowest at 31% in September. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.