MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte managed to keep the trust and approval of a majority of Filipinos possibly due to the way he handled recent controversies affecting his administration, the head of polling firm Pulse Asia said Friday.
A recent survey by Pulse Asia showed that 4 in 5 Filipinos still trust and approve of Duterte despite the controversy over the killings of several teenagers at the hands of police in August and protests against the administration last September.
Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes noted that Duterte had met with and consoled the parents of teenager Kian Delos Santos, who was killed by policemen last August 16.
Duterte also suspended government work and classes to give way to the mass actions for and against his administration last September 21, the 45th year after the declaration of martial law by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
"These events may have influenced the public insofar as vesting appreciation or lack of appreciation in the President," Holmes told ANC.
Duterte's trust and approval ratings, both at 80 percent in September 2017, were "marginally changed" from the 81 percent trust and 82 percent approval scores he got in June 2017, noted Holmes.
The pollster also said that the pattern of Duterte's scores was similar to those of his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
"In the case of former President Aquino, his approval and trust ratings did not decline significantly until January 2013. That's a period of 2-and-a-half years after he assumed the presidency," Holmes said.
"This is the 5th survey that we've conducted since President Duterte assumed the presidency. His approval and trust ratings marginally changed. It's no different from the pattern we saw under the previous administration."
DIFFERENT QUESTION, SAMPLE SIZE, ERROR MARGIN
Pulse Asia findings, however, differ from the results a Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, which saw double-digit declines in Duterte's satisfaction and trust ratings.
The SWS survey said net public satisfaction with Duterte plunged 18 points to +48 from +66 in June while his net trust rating fell 15 points to +60 from +75.
Holmes said this is not the first time that findings have differed among polling organizations.
The Pulse Asia chief, however, said he is uncertain if the variance was a result of different methodologies.
The question asked in the SWS survey was different from that in the Pulse Asia survey. They also had different sample sizes and margin of error.
In SWS, the question was: “Maaari po bang pakisabi ninyo kung gaano kayo nasisiyahan o hindi nasisiyahan sa pagganap ng tungkulin ni RODRIGO DUTERTE bilang Presidente ng Pilipinas. Kayo ba ay lubos na nasisiyahan, medyo nasisiyahan, hindi tiyak kung nasisiyahan o hindi, medyo hindi nasisiyahan, lubos na hindi nasisiyahan, o wala pa kayong narinig o nabasa kahit na kailan tungkol kay RODRIGO DUTERTE?”
(“Please tell me how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with the performance of RODRIGO DUTERTE as President of the Philippines. Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, undecided if satisfied or dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, very dissatisfied, or you have not ever heard or read anything about RODRIGO DUTERTE?”)
In the Pulse Asia survey, the question on the president's performance was lumped with other high-ranking officials:
"Mayroon ako ritong mga pangalan ng ilang mga kasalukuyang opisyal ng ating pamahalaan. Pakisabi ninyo ang inyong
opinyon tungkol sa pagganap nila ng kanilang tungkulin nitong huling tatlong buwan. Sa pamamagitan po ng board na ito,
kayo ba ay (SHOW AND READ RATING BOARD) kay (NAME) sa kanyang pagganap bilang (POSITION) o wala pa kayong narinig,
nabasa o napanood na kahit na ano tungkol sa kanya kahit na kailan?"
The SWS survey was from September 23 to 27.
The Pulse Asia survey was from September 24 to 30.
The SWS survey had a sample size of 1,500 nationwide with a margin of error of plus/minus 2.5%.
The Pulse Asia survey had a sample size of 1,200 nationwide with a margin of error of plus/minus 3%.
Both surveys, however, were non-commissioned.