Pulse Asia: 8 in 10 Filipinos approve of Duterte gov’t’s coronavirus response

Jodesz Gavilan
Pulse Asia: 8 in 10 Filipinos approve of Duterte gov’t’s coronavirus response
Pulse Asia finds that 92% of Filipinos believe that President Rodrigo Duterte has 'done well' in preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the Philippines, which is among the world’s top 20 countries with the most number of cases

Eight in 10 Filipinos approve of the Duterte administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines, a recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia found.

The results of the Ulat ng Bayan survey released on Thursday, October 8, showed that an estimated 84% of Filipinos have a “positive opinion” of the government’s efforts in addressing the health crisis.

Only 6% expressed disapproval of the government’s response, while 10% registered ambivalence.

Meanwhile, 92% of Filipinos believed that President Rodrigo Duterte has “done well in terms of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” according to the Pulse Asia survey. Only 3% disapproved.

The survey was conducted from September 14 to 20 through face-to-face interviews, with 1,200 respondents aged 18 years old and above. The nationwide results have an error margin of +/- 2.8% at 95% confidence level.

On the last day of the survey, the Philippines already had had 286,743 coronavirus cases. September 20 also marked the 13th straight day that the country recorded more than 3,000 new cases daily.

The Philippines is among the world’s top 20 countries with the most coronavirus cases, with 329,637 cases as of Wednesday, October 7. Out of this number, 49,989 are active cases. (READ: Pandemic unravels Duterte’s 2016 promise of decisive leadership)

Majority sentiment toward gov’t response

Pulse Asia said this level of approval is the majority sentiment among all geographic areas and socio-economic classes. But figures from the National Capital Region (NCR) registered the lowest ratings.

Both classes ABC and D registered an 84% approval, while 85% of class E approved of the Duterte government’s coronavirus response.

The highest approval rating among geographic areas was recorded in the Visayas with 86%. Luzon and Mindanao were at 85% each.

NCR, however, registered a 78% approval rating of the government’s handling of the pandemic. NCR is among the hardest hit by the coronavirus in the Philippines.

Duterte’s own efforts

The President’s own effort to stop the spread, meanwhile, had a 95% approval rating among class E and 93% among class D. Class ABC registered a 78% approval rating.

Mindanao gave the highest approval rating to the President, with 98%. Visayas and Luzon followed with 92% and 91%, respectively.

In NCR, meanwhile, Duterte had an approval rating of 87%.

Gov’t subsidy

Aside from the overall government response, Pulse Asia also asked respondents to rate the Duterte administration’s cash subsidy provided to Filipinos who lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic.

Results showed that 84% approved of this program, while 7% disapproved and 9% were ambivalent.

The cash subsidy registered the highest approval rating among class E, with 91%. Classes ABC and D recorded 74% and 84%, respectively.

At least 91% of Filipinos in Mindanao approved of the subsidy. In Luzon, the subsidy program got an approval rating of 82%, while Visayas registered 87%.

NCR, again, recorded the lowest approval rating, with 75%.

The Pulse Asia survey on the Duterte government’s coronavirus response was conducted in the same period as the one on his performance rating.

The results, released on Monday, October 5, showed that Duterte’s performance rating rose to 91%, defying expectations his ratings will be affected by his mishandling of the health crisis.

Experts and analysts cited the government’s cash subsidy program as the main reason for the favorable view of Duterte despite the pandemic.

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EXPLAINER: Duterte’s high ratings despite poor COVID-19 response

EXPLAINER: Duterte’s high ratings despite poor COVID-19 response


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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and impunity beats, producing in-depth and investigative reports particularly on the quest for justice of victims of former president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs and war on dissent.