MANILA (UPDATE) – Public satisfaction with the administration of President Benigno Aquino III has plunged to a record low, a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed.
The SWS survey, conducted from March 20-23 and published first by BusinessWorld, said 48% of the respondents were satisfied, 29% were dissatisfied and 23% undecided with the national government's general performance, resulting in a ''moderate'' +19 net score.
SWS said the 2015 first quarter satisfaction rating of the national government marks a 15-percentage-point drop from the ''good'' +34 in the December 2014 survey. This is also the lowest rating since Aquino assumed the presidency in 2010.
SWS classifies net satisfaction scores of +70 and above as ''excellent''; +50 to +69 as ''very good''; +30 to +49, ''good''; +10 to +29, ''moderate'', +9 to -9, ''neutral''; -10 to -29, ''poor''; -30 to -49, ''bad''; -50 to -69, ''very bad''; and -70 and below, ''execrable.''
In response, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the Aquino administration is firmly determined to "carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine Development Plan and ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions."
He said the Aquino administration is also focused on making good governance "the norm at all levels of government" and that "the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions will be sustained and made permanent."
"We are aware that there is significant room for improvement and that we need to continually ascertain the sentiments of our Bosses, the Filipino people," Coloma added.
Earlier, SWS said the same survey found President Aquino's own satisfaction rating drop to all-time low.
SWS said 47% of the respondents were satisfied with Aquino's performance and 36% were dissatisfied, resulting in a net satisfaction rating of ''moderate'' +11, a 28-point drop from his ''good'' +39 in the December 2014 survey and also the lowest he got since assuming the presidency.
The president and his administration saw their respective satisfaction ratings drop to an all-time low as the government was dealing with the political backlash caused by the January 25 Mamasapano clash.
Forty-four elite police commandos were killed by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and other lawless elements as they were about to neutralize Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin hir alias Marwan.
The president has been blamed for consulting a suspended police chief for the operation. Critics say had the president made completely sure that the authorized police officials and military commanders had been informed of the operation, the deaths would have been avoided.
The executive chief's public image suffered after he skipped the arrival honors for the slain cops and decided to attend the opening of a car plant. He was also heavily criticized for his refusal to take full responsibility for the bungled police operation.
The MILF's sincerity has also been questioned after it was found out that an international terrorist was seeking refuge in its bailiwick.
This has put in peril the fate of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, a product of the peace talks between the government and the MILF that seeks to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS, SOCIOECONOMIC CLASSES
The Aquino administration's satisfaction ratings saw huge drops in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, SWS said.
At 27 points, SWS said the biggest drop in satisfaction with the national government was in Balance Luzon (from ''good'' +35 to ''neutral'' +8).
The net satisfaction rating of the administration among respondents in Mindanao dropped by 17 points from a ''good'' +43 to a ''moderate'' +26.
The administration's net satisfaction rating in the Visayas stayed at the ''good'' category, going up three points from +31 to +34.
At ''moderate'' +21, there was no change in the net satisfaction rating of the administration among Metro Manila respondents.
Meanwhile, the administration's satisfaction ratings dropped across all socio economic classes, SWS said.
SWS said the administration saw its net satisfaction rating drop by 22 points from +41 to +19 among those in class ABC; 16 points from +40 to +24 among those in class E; and 14 points from +32 to +18 in class D.
SWS said the Aquino administration scored ''good'' in terms of helping victims of disasters, helping the poor, promoting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers, protecting the environment, and foreign relations.
The respondents gave ''moderate'' scores to the government in terms of preparing for climate change, defending the country’s territorial rights, telling the truth to the people, restoring peace to Mindanao, and providing jobs.
In terms of fighting crimes, rehabilitating areas damaged by conflict in Mindanao, fighting terrorism, eradicating graft and corruption, reconciliation with Communist rebels, reconciliation with Muslim rebels, and fighting inflation, the administration got ''neutral'' scores.
The government scored ''poor'' in terms of ensuring that no family will ever be hungry, and ensuring oil firms don’t take advantage of oil prices.
It scored ''very bad'' in resolving the Maguindanao massacre with justice.
The SWS survey among 1,200 adults nationwide had sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, “Balance Luzon,” Visayas, and Mindanao.