Duterte's satisfaction rating reaches new record-high

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has achieved his highest net satisfaction rating so far, setting a new personal record that surpassed his previous ratings, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

In the SWS survey conducted from December 13 to 16, 2019, Duterte garnered a net satisfaction rating of +72 or "excellent" for his presidency. He bested his own "very good" +65 in September 2019, and his previous high score of "very good" +68 in June 2019.

The latest poll saw 82% of Filipinos satisfied with Duterte as chief executive. The numbers are 4 points higher than his 78% in September 2019. Another 8% of Filipinos said they were undecided, while 10% were dissatisfied with Duterte's performance.

The survey was done a few days after Duterte upped the ante against private water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water over what he believed to be "onerous" provisions in their concession agreements. He threatened an immediate government takeover of water distribution and treatment operations. 

The poll was also done as Duterte certified as urgent a measure that sought to raise the take-home pay of government workers, including public school teachers.

Other findings: The SWS survey found that majority of respondents (52%) expected Duterte to fulfil "all or nearly all/most of his promises." Meanwhile, 42% of Filipinos answered they expected a "few" to be fulfilled, and 5% answered "none or almost none."

This was the case for all areas, as SWS recorded an increase in expectations that Duterte would fulfil his promises in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The same survey found 72% or a big majority of Filipinos saying they are worried about Duterte's health, similar to the 74% who were worried in June 2019. Of the 72% who were worried, SWS found 5% worried a great deal while 47% somewhat worried.

Alongside this, the pollster also found a similar big majority – or 61% – saying “Duterte’s state of health is a public matter" and that the public should be informed of "everything about this." This was unchanged from September 2018, when 61% said the President’s state of health was a public matter.

Concern over Duterte's health was highest in his bailiwick of Mindanao, where 77% of Filipinos said they were worried. This, however, was actually lower than findings in June 2019 when 85% said they were worried.

Mindanao was followed by the Visayas at 75%, Metro Manila at 73%, and Balance Luzon at 69%.

What island regions think of Duterte's performance: Duterte's 7-point rise in his satisfaction rating was buoyed by increases in Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao, combined with a steady score in Metro Manila.

While Duterte's rating stayed at a very good +66 in Metro Manila from September 2019 to December 2019, it increased by 12 points in Balance Luzon from +54 in September to +66 in December. There was a 5-point increase (+76 to +81) in Mindanao and 4-point increase in Visayas (+75 to +79).

Satisfaction likewise rose in both urban and rural areas, with a 9-point increase seen in urban areas (+75 in December 2019 from +66 in September 2019) and 5-point increase in rural areas (+69 from +64).

Poorest Filipinos happier: Duterte managed to raise his net satisfaction ratings among all economic classes. But his ratings saw a marked improvement among the country's poorest, those in class E.

Class E Filipinos gave him a 14-point increase from September (+57) to December (+71). SWS said this surpassed his previous record +68 in June 2017.

Likewise, Duterte's satisfaction also rose from very good to excellent in class D, up by 6 points from +66 in September to +72 in December. It stayed excellent in class ABC, at +76 in December, up by 6 points from +70 in September.

How Duterte fared among graduates: Duterte saw the biggest movements in satisfaction ratings amon college graduates, high school graduates, and elementary graduates.

The biggest increase was seen among elementary school graduates who gave Duterte an 18-point
increase from +60 in September to +78 in December. This was followed by a 6-point increase among college graduates (+67 to +73) and 3-point increase among high school graduates (+67 to +70).

Duterte's net satisfaction stayed very good among non-elementary school graduates, from +65 in September to +64 in December.

The end-of-the-year survey involved face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide. SWS reported error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.  Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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