MANILA, Philippines – Rappler’s editor at large Marites Vitug talks about how President Aquino can use his high satisfaction rating to push for the passage of the sin tax bill.
Let’s watch her video blog.
President Aquino is riding high. Most Filipinos approve of him, as the latest SWS poll shows.
The survey conducted last week of August gave the president an astounding 67% satisfaction rating, his highest, so far, in his 2 years in office.
It’s the same rating President Joseph Estrada got at the peak of his popularity.
But, as the wise senior senator, Juan Ponce Enrile, has said, “Popularity is like ice cream, sometimes it’s hard, sometimes soft and melting.”
So why not put this tremendous political capital to good use before it melts away?
The sin tax bill is at a crucial juncture. The Senate will vote on it soon.
From the P60 billion that was originally envisioned as revenues, the figure is now down to P30 billion, after Congress passed a much-diluted version.
Most of this will go to fund the health care needs of many Filipinos.
But, in the Senate, the bill may be even more watered down.
It is tough fighting big business and vested interests.
This is one moment, however, that the president can harness his rock-star ratings for the common good.