7 of 10 Pinoys unhappy with rising prices

The Aquino administration is getting positive marks in its fight versus crime and corruption, but not in how it's dealing with inflation

MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – The Aquino administration is getting positive marks in its fight against crime and corruption, but not in the issue which nearly 7 out of 10 Filipinos deem urgent: controlling inflation.

In its March 2012 “Ulat ng Bayan” survey, Pulse Asia said Tuesday, April 17 the Aquino administration enjoys majority approval in 4 out of 11 national issues surveyed.

“The national administration registers majority approval scores for its initiatives to promote peace (52%), enforce the law equally on all citizens (57%), fight criminality (57%) and fight corruption (60%),” it said in its press release.

The said issues are seen as one of 5 issues deemed urgent by 31% to 53% of those surveyed.

The government was also rated positively in the issue of environment (46%).

Rising prices of goods

The survey results showed that in rating the government, Filipinos take issues that personally impact them.

How the Aquino government handled inflation got its lowest mark. The issue of soaring prices of goods and services — largely due to hikes in oil and food prices — was considered among the 5 most urgent topics for 68% of the respondents.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, April 17, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stressed that inflation has actually gone down to an almost 2-year low during the survey period.

Citing data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, he said inflation decelerated in March to 2.6% from 2.7% in February. “The February rates are second only to Malaysia’s 2.2%… outperforming even such developed countries as Singapore.”

Lacierda also hinted that prices of goods are affected by a factor that’s beyond the government’s control: the rise in global oil prices.  

“The government…remains sensitive to public sentiment as regards inflation and continues its efforts to ensure that global trends do not adversely affect our people, especially those in the margins,” he said.

Jobs and wages

Accompanying inflation in the top 5 most important issues for Filipinos are availability of jobs and higher wages.  

The survey revealed that pay increases is important to 62% of the respondents and job creation, 53%.

Approval ratings for job creation and increasing workers’ pay were nearly similar to those who are undecided (41% vs 38%, and 40% vs 35%, respectively).

Pulse Asia said that their survey, conducted between February 26 and March 9, 2012, revealed a decline of 7 percentage points for the approval ratings on jobs and population.

President Aquino has previously said that his government is handling the economy well, stressing macreconomic events such as the series of credit rating upgrades and recent record highs in the local stock market.  

Corruption, environment

Next to jobs, wages, and inflation, respondents also rated the following as important: poverty reduction (52%), peace (39%), environment (37%), law enforcement (37%), and fighting crime (31%).

Meanwhile, the same survey revealed more people are undecided about their view on the government’s performance on strengthening the people’s trust in government (46% undecided vs 40% approval), population control (42% undecided vs 35% approval), and poverty reduction (38% undecided vs 32% approval).

It got an approval rating of 28%, and a disapproval rating of 40% – a net approval rating of -12%. 32% said they were undecided.

Filipinos, according to the survey results, are less concerned about population growth, strengthening public trust, the impeachment trial, and running after corrupt government officials.

Pulse Asia said the nationwide survey is based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above. The results have an error margin of +/- 3% at 95% confidence level.

“Pulse Asia undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort,” it added. – Rappler.com

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