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Most Filipinos trust, approve Marcos, Duterte – Octa survey

Bea Cupin

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Most Filipinos trust, approve Marcos, Duterte – Octa survey

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. leads the multi-sectoral meeting of different government agencies at Malacañang Palaceon April 11, 2023.

Yummie Dingding/PPA Pool

The survey finds that most Filipinos trust the President and Vice President – their performance ratings even go up 17 points among Class ABC

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte both earned the approval of most respondents in the Tugon ng Masa survey by Octa Research in the first quarter of 2023.

According to the survey, held from March 24 to 28, Marcos and Duterte got the approval of nearly 4 out of 5 respondents – 80% and 84%, respectively. With a margin of error of 3 + or – on the national level, that means Duterte’s approval ratings are only slightly higher than Marcos’. 

Trust on the two highest government officials were also high, with 83% of respondents saying they trusted Marcos and 87% of those surveyed saying they trusted Duterte. 

The results of the survey, which entailed face-to-face interviews with 1,200 Filipino adults, were released on April 18. 

Congress leaders Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri (53%) and House Speaker Martin Romualdez (59%) – allies of the administration – also registered majority approval. Only Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo had less than majority approval, at 41%. 

The numbers have been consistent across different survey firms – Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan survey also showed high trust and approval ratings for both Marcos and Duterte.

Most trust, highest ratings in ABC 

Both Marcos and Duterte scored highest in the Visayas and Mindanao, and lowest in Metro Manila. Their lowest satisfaction marks, however, were still big majorities (73% for Marcos, 76% for Duterte). 

Satisfaction was also highest among socio-economic Class ABC and lowest among the poorest of Filipinos, or those classified under Class E. Performance ratings of the two, in fact, went up 17 percentage points in Class ABC between October 2022 and the March 2023 surveys. 

Trust ratings also remained high for both Marcos and Duterte across geographic divisions and socio-economic classes. While Marcos’ trust ratings in March 2023 were lower than in October 2022, the 3-point drop was still within the survey’s margin of error. 

Numbers through the years 

Survey firms typically measure a new administration’s numbers in the first October and March after they assume office. 

Octa, which was established only in 2019, does not have data from previous administrations.

But Pulse Asia surveys from 2011 and 2017 indicate that presidents and vice presidents generally enjoy high trust and performance ratings in their first March in office. Only former president and current House Deputy Speaker Gloria Arroyo did not have the same rosy numbers, although in 2005, she had already been president for several years after Joseph Estrada was ousted from office. 

Vice presidents in the past have also enjoyed higher numbers than the incumbent president – except under former president Rodrigo Duterte, during which former vice president Leni Robredo saw low majority approval (58%) and trust ratings (56%) in March 2017. In contrast, Rodrigo Duterte had majority performance (78%) and trust (76%) in the same March 2017 Pulse Asia survey.  

Marcos and Sara Duterte, Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, coalesced in 2022 to form the “Uniteam coalition.” The partnership saw the country’s biggest and, sometimes, most infamous political clans and groups come together under the tandem. – 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.