Manila, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s public approval and trust ratings fell to their lowest in September, according to a Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated survey released on Tuesday, September 25.
Public approval for Duterte’s performance as Chief Executive fell by 13 percentage points to 75% in September from 88% in June, according to Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey held from September 1 to 7.
Duterte’s trust ratings fell by 15 percentage points to 72% from 87%, his lowest as president.
Prior to the September survey, the President obtained his lowest approval and trust ratings in March 2017, at 78% and 76%, respectively.
Duterte enjoyed his highest-ever approval rating and second to the higest trust ratings in the last survey held in June before his controversial “God is stupid” remark.
“At the national level, President Duterte experienced a decline in his approval ratings (-13 percentage points) and a rise in indecision (+5 percentage points) during the period June to September 2018. The President’s overall disapproval score also goes up during this period (+7 percentage points),” said Pulse Asia president Ronald D. Holmes.
Holmes also said that based on the survey findings, “trust in the President becomes less pronounced not only at the national level (-15 percentage points) but in basically all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings.”
“Indecision concerning presidential trustworthiness becomes more marked between June and September 2018 among Filipinos as a whole (+8 percentage points) and in the rest of Luzon and Class D in particular (+ 9 and + 8 percentage points, respectively),” he added.
Eroded approval, trust ratings in all areas
Based on geographic areas, Duterte’s approval rating had the sharpest fall in Balance Luzon, a 17-percentage point decline to 66% from 83% in June, followed by Metro Manila with 72% from 83%, an 11-percentage point decrease.
There was a 9-percentage point dip in Duterte’s approval rating in Mindanao, which gave him a near-perfect approval rating of 99% in June.
In the Visayas, Duterte’s approval rating declined by 6 percentage points to 83% from 89% in June.
Among socio-economic classes, Duterte’s approval rating had the sharpest dip in Class D with 74%, a 13-percentage point drop from 87% in June, closely followed by Class ABC with 72%, a 12-percentage point drop from June.
Duterte’s approval rating fell by 10 percentage points among the poorest Class E – 81% from 91% in June.
Trust in the President eroded the most in Balance Luzon – a 20-percentage point drop to 64% from 84%. Among areas, he had the lowest trust rating in Metro Manila, where trust in him fell to 63% from 79%, a 16-percentage point drop.
In the Visayas, trust in the President fell by 13 percentage points to 79% from 92%. In Mindanao, his trust rating slid to 90% from 94% in June.
Among socio-economic classes, the biggest erosion of trust in the Chief Executive is among Class D, a 16-percentage drop to 71% from 87%.
The President obtained a trust rating of 76% among the poorest Class E, 12 percentage points lower than in June, while trust in Duterte among the well-off Class ABC fell by 9 percentage points to 73% from 82%.
Trillanes amnesty, inflation
During the survey period and between the June and September polls, among the major news were President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 which sought to void the amnesty given to opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV under the previous administration.
There were also calls for the abolition of the National Food Authority and the resignation of NFA Administrator Jason Aquino amid the rice shortage and higher rice prices; and the announcement of 6.4% inflation in August, the highest in 9 years, as consumers saw a spike in prices of basic goods.
During that time, bombings rocked Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, prompting Palace statements about a possible extension of martial law in Mindanao beyond December 31, 2018.
Also, the House of Representatives approved on second reading the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) despite objections from various business sectors and some opposition lawmakers.
The nationwide survey, conducted among 1,800 registered voters, has a ± 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates for the geographic areas have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: ± 6% for Metro Manila, ± 3% for the rest of Luzon and ± 5% for each of Visayas and Mindanao.
Pulse Asia said its “pool of academic fellows takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data.”
“In keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes. Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort,” it said.