Aquino, Binay, other officials get lower approval ratings

The country’s top 5 government officials experienced a drop in their overall approval and trust ratings, according to the results of the latest latest Pulse Asia survey released on Friday, February 12.

None of the top 5 officials – President Benigno Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr, and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno – obtained majority approval and trust ratings in the January 2016 Pulso ng Bayan national survey.

The survey was conducted from January 24 to 28 among 1,800  registered voters.

Aquino remained the most appreciated top Philippine official, but his approval rating dropped by 6 percentage points to 49% from 55% in December. He was followed by Binay with 47% from 52%, a 5-percentage drop; Drilon, 44% from 51%;  Sereno, 25% from 29%; and Belmonte, 24% from 29%.

“Across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, approval for the President’s work eases in Class E (-15 percentage points) while Vice-President Binay’s approval scores drop in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Class E (-11 to -12 percentage points),” Pulse Asia president Ronald D. Holmes said in a press statement.

Table from Pulse Asia Research Inc

Among socioeconomic classes, only the well-off Class ABC gave higher approval ratings to the officials, except Sereno. It gave the President an approval rating of 51%, up by 7 percentage points; Binay, 36% from 30%; Drilon, 57% from 45%, and Belmonte, 40% from 35%.

Holmes said that at the national level, only Binay had a marked change in terms of public indecision on performance – up by 8 percentage points, or to 33% from 25%. He said the Vice President also had higher indecision levels in  Visayas, Mindanao, and Classes D and E (+6 to +15 percentage points).

Aquino also experienced increased public indecision on his performance among the poorest Class E (+11 percentage points), while Belmonte's and Sereno’s indecision ratings in Mindanao increased by 12 and 14 percentage points, respectively.

Aquino, Binay: Most trusted

The survey showed that Aquino and Binay are the officials most trusted by Filipinos, both with a 45% rating.

This, however, is an 8-percentage point drop in the President’s trust rating of 53% in December, and 4 percentage points less in the case of the Vice President.

Drilon’s trust rating fell to 42% from 47%, Sereno to 23% from 25%, and Belmonte to 21% from 24%.

Table from Pulse Asia Research Inc

The President’s trust ratings fell by 8 to 9 percentage points in all geopgraphical locations. While it improved by 7 percentage points (to 50% from 43%) in Class ABC, it declined by 7 and 16 percentage points, respectively, among Classes D (44% from 51%) and E (64% from 48%).

The biggest spike in the President’s distrust ratings was in Metro Manila, where it rose by 14 percentage points, or to 41% from 27%.

“Distrust in Senate President Drilon becomes more manifest in Class D (+6 percentage points) while House Speaker Belmonte’s distrust ratings go up in the Visayas (+15 percentage points) and Class D (+8 percentage points). In the case of Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno, distrust in her becomes more pronounced in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Classes D and E (+7 to +16 percentage points),” Holmes said.

In January, among the major issues were the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the disqualification cases against presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe, the reopening of the Senate inquiry into the Mamasapano encounter and the first year anniversary of the latter, and the conclusion of the Senate inquiry into corruption allegations against Binay.

That month, the President vetoed House Bill 5842 seeking a P2,000-hike in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) members, and later explained its negative impact on the SSS and its current and future members. The Supreme Court also upheld the constitutionality of the PH-US Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Pulse Asia said its nationwide survey has a ± 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: ± 6% for Metro Manila, ± 3% for the rest of Luzon and ± 5% for each of Visayas and Mindanao. – Rappler.com

Mia M. Gonzalez

Mia M. Gonzalez is a senior desk editor of Rappler. She previously covered the Philippine presidency and politics. An award-winning literary writer, she is the author of Welostit and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

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