Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has maintained majority approval and trust ratings amid the coronavirus pandemic that continues to affect thousands of Filipinos.
The president’s approval rating rose to 91 percent from 87 percent in December, based on a nationwide survey of 1,200 adults conducted from September 14 to 20 by pollster Pulse Asia.
Duterte’s trust rating also increased to 91 percent from 83 percent in December.
Pulse Asia, one of the country’s two biggest survey firms, released the findings on Monday, October 5, as the country started to ease quarantine measures.
Duterte’s rating rose even as the Philippines has placed last among Southeast Asian countries in battling the pandemic.
The Philippines recorded 3,190 new coronavirus cases on October 4, its biggest daily increase since September 21, bringing its total confirmed infections to 322,497, the highest tally in the region.
The Department of Health also reported 100 more fatalities due to infections, the country’s highest daily record since September 14, taking its death toll to 5,776.
The Pulse Asia survey showed that Duterte got the highest increase, at 11 percent, from the poorest socio-economic sector of the population.
He got an increase of 2 percent from Class D, and a decrease of -1 from Class ABC.
Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz expressed hope that the high rating received by the president will inspire him to work for the good of the people.
“I congratulate the president for this survey,” said the prelate. “I hope he will continue to work more for the Filipinos,” he added.
Archbishop Jumoad said that with the result of the survey, “the people have spoken.” He said the despite criticisms of the president’s performance, “we cannot distort [the people’s] observations.”
The church leader challenged those who doubt the results of the survey to “prove (that) it is not the true sentiments of the people.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo, a leader of the political opposition, got the second to the lowest rating among the country’s top five officials listed in the survey.
Robredo only got a performance rating of 57 percent, a 1 percent drop from her 58 percent rating in December 2019.
Pulse Asia cited several issues during the time of the survey, including reports of massive corruption allegations against executives of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and the public backlash on the beautification project of Manila Bay that reportedly cost the government US$7.2 million.
The pollster noted that “public assessment of (the) officials’ performance is essentially unchanged between December 2019 and September 2020.”