MANILA, Philippines – Halfway through his term, President Benigno Aquino III scores well on fighting corruption, criminality, and equal enforcement of the law, but needs to work overtime to bring down inflation, poverty, and population growth.
In its May 20-26, 2012 survey, Pulse Asia said Aquino scored a 58% approval rating for fighting corruption, 56% for fighting criminality, and 52% for enforcing the law equally on all citizens.
The levels of satisfaction for economic-related issues were however much lower. 40% of respondents disapproved of the Aquino government’s performance in controlling inflation, followed by 35% who wanted more results in the fight against poverty, and 26% who wanted the government to control fast population growth.
Inflation as of May 2012 stands at 2.9%, slightly lower than April’s 3%, but higher than March 2012’s 2.6% inflation rate.
As of this year, estimates peg the Philippine population at close to 100 million, with an average growth rate of 2%. Latest available data as of 2009 show that poverty incidence remains high at close to 25%, almost unchanged from three years before.
Ever since Pulse Asia tracked the President’s performance-related ratings in October 2010, his approval ratings have been on a gradual decline. He started off with a high 79% approval rating, riding on the crest of a presidential campaign that benefited from voter sympathy generated by the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino.
This has dropped to 67% in May 2012, just 3-percentage points lower than in March (70%). The highest drop in approval ratings was recorded in the National Capital Region, followed by the Visayas, then Mindanao.
Pulse Asia said President Aquino still recorded a “sizeable majority trust rating” of 65% for May 2012, slightly higher than his 69% in March. Across geographic areas, the President enjoys majority trust scores ranging from 59% to 68%, the highest being in the balance of Luzon, and the lowest being in the National Capital Region.
Across socio-economic classes, his highest trust rating is recorded among the poor or classes D and E. Pulse Asia said that “this is the first time that he registers a double-digit distrust score since being trust-rated” in October 2010.
Compared to 2010, his trustworthiness ratings in the latest 2012 survey decline significantly from 80% to 65%. Overall, his present overall indecision and distrust ratings are also the highest that have been recorded by Pulse Asia since October 2010.
At the time the survey was conducted, the impeachment trial of convicted chief justice Renato Corona had just resumed, tension continued to brew between the Philippines and China over the disputed Scarborough Shoal, and the government had just rejected workers’ calls for a P125 across-the-board pay hike. It is common for the popularity ratings of Philippine chief executives to decline over the years, even as the ratings of their vice presidents register higher figures. – Rappler.com
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