Distrust hounds Arroyo on eve of SONA–Pulse Asia survey


By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 12:13:00 07/27/2008

MANILA, Philippines–President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will deliver her State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday with around one in two Filipinos critical of her performance and distrusting her, according to an independent survey.

The Pulse Asia Inc. study, conducted from July 1 to 14, showed that 48 percent “disapprove” of her performance, while 53 percent had “small or no trust” in her.

The figures “do not differ significantly” from the 51-percent disapproval rating and the 57-percent distrust rating that the President scored in its March 2008 surey, Pulse Asia said.

Moreover, 35 percent said the pro-poor programs was part of “politicking” for the 2010 elections, it said.

The survey firm polled 1,200 respondents nationwide. At around that time, the administration announced subsidies for the poor which were sourced from Value Added Tax (VAT) revenues, continued to offer cheap rice from the National Food Authority (NFA), and pushed for lower electricity rates.

Asked to rate the President’s performance, 48 percent said they disapproved, 22 percent approved, while 30 percent were undecided, Pulse Asia said.

Disapproval was highest in Mindanao (62 percent), followed by Metro Manila (50 percent), Luzon (48 percent), and the Visayas (31 percent). The President registered the highest approval rating in the Visayas (35 percent), it said.

Asked if they trusted the President, 53 percent said they had “small or no trust” in her, 19 percent said they had big trust, while 28 percent were undecided. Distrust was highest in Mindanao (64 percent), followed by Metro Manila (56 percent), Luzon (53 percent), and the Visayas (37 percent). Her trust rating was highest in the Visayas (32 percent) it said.

“Disapproval for presidential performance and distrust in President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remain the predominant public sentiment with almost one out of every two Filipinos (48%) being critical of President Arroyo’s performance and a small majority (53%) distrusting her,” Pulse Asia said in a statement.

While the over-all figures were “essentially unchanged,” Pulse Asia noted “marked movements” in the President’s performance and trust ratings across geographical regions and economic classes.

In Metro Manila, the President’s approval and trust ratings rose back to levels in October 2007, before the corruption controversy over the botched ZTE-NBN deal broke last January, Pulse Asia said.

Twenty percent of respondents in the capital said they approved of the President’s performance, up from 11 percent in March 2008, and close to the 21-percent approval rating in October, it said.

Another 17 percent said they trusted the President, up from six percent in March 2008, and close to the 18-percent trust rating in October, it said.

Arroyo’s disapproval rating in the ABC income brackets improved by 16 percentage points to 45 percent in July, from 61 percent in March. Her distrust rating also improved by 16 percentage points, to 49 percent from 65 percent during the same period, it said.

Asked which pro-poor program of the government they have availed of, 49 percent said NFA rice, 43 percent said they did not receive any, nine percent said they received the P500 one-time power bill subsidy, six percent said they benefited from the food for school program, two percent said they received the P1,500 fertilizer subsidy for farmers.

Asked why they thought administration was helping the poor, 35 percent said this was part of “politicking” for the 2010 elections, 30 percent said it was part of government’s responsibility, 24 percent said the government wanted to help the poor in difficult times, 10 percent said the government was preventing “possible conflict” that could arise from poverty.

The survey had an error margin of plus or minus three percent.(PDI)

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