Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

CLOSER LOOK: How Marcos, Duterte, Zubiri, Romualdez fared in December 2023 Pulse Asia survey

Dwight de Leon

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CLOSER LOOK: How Marcos, Duterte, Zubiri, Romualdez fared in December 2023 Pulse Asia survey

BUDGET SIGNING. Vice President Sara Duterte, Senate President Migz Zubiri, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and House Speaker Martin Romualdez during the signing of the 2023 budget in December 2022.

House press and public affairs bureau

Public opinion regarding the country's top four officials hardly changed from September to December 2023 based on the Pulse Asia survey, but a closer look reveals double-digit gains and losses across geographic areas and socioeconomic groupings

MANILA, Philippines – Pulse Asia has released the results of its latest survey on the performance and trustworthiness of the Philippines’ highest-ranking officials, and the pollster observed “only a few significant changes.”

“Public opinion regarding the trustworthiness of the top national government officials hardly changed between September 2023 and December 2023, both at the national level and across sub-groupings,” the company said in a report published on Monday, January 8.

Pulse Asia, however, noted “several marked movements across geographic and socio-economic groupings” in terms of performance scores.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Photo from the Presidential Communications Office

Trust: 73% (+2 from September 2023)
Distrust: 7% (+1 from September 2023)
Undecided on trust: 20% (-3 from September 2023)
Approval: 68% (+3 from September 2023)
Disapproval: 9% (-1 from September 2023)
Undecided on performance: 22% (-3 from September 2023)

There is little movement in the President’s numbers at the national level, and he still enjoys majority support.

His approval numbers saw a 15-percentage-point increase among Class E respondents, and a 10-percentage-point increase among Class ABC.

His trust rating in these groupings tell a similar story: a 12-percentage-point increase among Class E, and a larger 15-percentage-point increase among Class ABC.

Geographically speaking, Marcos took a beating in the Visayas, after his disapproval score jumped from 4% in September to 16% in December.

Vice President Sara Duterte
Adult, Female, Person
Photo by Rappler

Trust: 78% (+3 from September 2023)
Distrust: 6% (+1 from September 2023)
Undecided on trust: 15% (-5 from September 2023)
Approval: 74% (+1 from September 2023)
Disapproval: 8% (+3 from September 2023)
Undecided on performance: 18% (-4 from September 2023)

Just like the President, Vice President Duterte saw a little increase in her trust and approval scores, but she remains the most trusted government official based on the Pulse Asia survey.

Among socioeconomic groups, she recorded the biggest gain among Class ABC, with an 18-percentage-point approval score increase and a 17-percentage-point surge in her trust rating.

Duterte also tumbled in the Visayas, after her approval score dipped by 12 percentage points.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri
Blazer, Clothing, Coat
Photo by Red Santos/Rappler

Trust: 51% (+2 from September 2023)
Distrust: 10% (+2 from September 2023)
Undecided on trust: 39% (-5 from September 2023)
Approval: 49% (-1 from September 2023)
Disapproval: 12% (+4 from September 2023)
Undecided on performance: 40% (-2 from September 2023)

Senate President Zubiri, like the President and the Vice President, enjoys the trust of the majority.

He did not register a double-digit gain in his numbers across sub-groupings, and the percentage of respondents from Class ABC who disapproved of his performance rose by 14 points.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez
Electrical Device, Microphone, Adult
Photo by Rappler

Trust: 40% (+2 from September 2023)
Distrust: 14% (unchanged from September 2023)
Undecided on trust: 46% (-2 from September 2023)
Approval: 39% (-2 from September 2023)
Disapproval: 13% (-1 from September 2023)
Undecided on performance: 48% (+4 from September 2023)

Unlike the first three, Romualdez’s trust rating fell short of the majority, although it is 2-percentage-points higher compared to September.

A major pain point for the Speaker is the Visayas, where he suffered a 23-percentage-point drop in his approval rating and an 11-percentage-point drop in his trust rating.

Key issues

Key developments that took place in the weeks leading up the survey period and during Pulse Asia’s field work include:

  • resumption of fighting in Gaza after a week-long truce
  • continued reports of tension between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea
  • bombing at the Mindanao State University
  • earthquakes in Davao Occidental and Surigao del Sur
  • former senator Leila de Lima’s release from jail after over six years
  • passage of House resolution calling on the Marcos administration to cooperate with the International Criminal Court probe against former president Rodrigo Duterte
  • approval of the 2024 budget – which no longer includes confidential funds – in the Senate
  • nationwide transport strike by jeepney operators
  • reported increase in the number of COVID-19 cases
  • the conduct of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which Marcos skipped
  • announcement by the Philippine government and communist rebels to restart peace talks
  • publication of a report showing that the Philippines is among the countries with the lowest proficiency for young learners

A total of 1,200 respondents participated in the survey conducted from December 3 to 7. They were also asked about the most urgent issues that the Marcos administration must immediately address.

Top answers include:

  • controlling inflation: 72%
  • increasing workers’ wages: 40%
  • job creation: 28%
  • poverty reduction: 25%

The full report can be viewed below:

– Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.