THE VARIOUS controversies facing his administration have triggered a significant drop in the approval and trust ratings of President Benigno S. Aquino III between March and June 2014, according to the latest Ulat ng Bayan national survey of the creditable pollster Pulse Asia Research.
Across the Philippines, Pulse Asia said Aquino’s approval rating dipped from 70 percent in March to 56 percent in June, or a 14-percentage point decline. His trust rating, on the other hand, slipped from 69 percent in March to just 53 percent in June, or a 16 percentage point decline.
Aquino suffered the biggest cut in his approval ratings in Mindanao (down 19 percentage points from 90 percent in March to 61 percent in June), and among Classes D and E (down 15 percentage points and 12 percentage points, respectively).
In addition, his trust ratings suffered the biggest dent in Luzon and Metro Manila (down 19 percentage points and 17 percentage points, respectively), and among Classes ABC and D (down 20 percentage points and 17 percentage points, respectively).
According to Pulse Asia, the number of those undecided about Aquino’s performance and trustworthiness also grew in June 2014.
Performance ratings table from Pulse Asia’s media release
From 30 to 33 percent of the 1,200 respondents of the latest Ulat ng Bayan replied that they were “undecided” about the President’s performance and trust worthiness.
“Presently, levels of ambivalence toward the President’s work (performance) range from 27 percent to 37 percent across geographic areas, and from 27 percent to 31 percent in the different socio-economic classes,” Pulse Asia said.
Meanwhile, public indecision over how trustworthy Aquino is ranged from 29 percent to 43 percent across geographic locations, and from 32 percent to 34 percent across income groups.
The same rising levels of ambivalence toward Aquino’s performance were recorded among Filipinos in Mindanao (up 16 percentage points from 20 percent in March to 30 percent in June), and those in Class D (up 10 percentage points from 21 percent in March to 33 percent in June).
Respondents from Metro Manila and Class D grew more ambivalent, too, about Aquino’s trustworthiness. The number of those undecided about this grew by 21 percentage points (from 22 percent in March to 41 percent in June) in Metro Manila, and by 12 percentage points (from 21 percent in March to 33 percent in June) among Class D respondents.
Aquino’s disapproval ratings did not change much, however, from March to June 2014.
Across the nation, 14 percent of Filipinos expressed disapproval of the work done by the President in the past three months. His disapproval scores ranged from 7 percent to 18 percent across geographic locations and from 12 percent to 22 percent across income groups.
Pulse Asia said: “Residents of Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, as well as those in Class ABC are most critical of President Aquino (17 percent to 22 percent) and most inclined to distrust him (17 percent to 24 percent).”
Field work for the latest Ulat ng Bayan was conducted from June 24 to July 2, 2014 using face-to-face interview, Pulse Asia said.
During the period, Pulse Asia said various issues preoccupied Filipinos “immediately prior to and during the conduct of the field interviews,” including the filing of graft and plunder charges against three senators and other public officials for alleged misuse of pork barrel funds, the decision by the Supreme Court declaring certain actions and provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional, and the controversial decision of Aquino to reject the nomination of movie star Nora Aunor as National Artist for Film.
Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan surveys are based on “a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above” and have “a 3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.”
The pool of academic fellows of Pulse Asia “takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data,” Pulse Asia said.
It added that it undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys “on its own, without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.”