'Hardcore' fans may delay Duterte ratings decline: Pulse

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 09 2017 02:51 PM

Supporters reach out to shake hands with President Rodrigo Duterte during the death anniversary celebration of Filipino national hero Dr Jose Rizal in Manila, Philippines. December 30, 2016. Czar Dancel, Reuters

MANILA - It may take long for President Rodrigo Duterte's ratings to slide, thanks to his staunch supporters who could keep his performance rate up, the research director of Pulse Asia said Monday.

Dr. Ana Tabunda told ANC's Headstart that Duterte's rating won't go down as fast as his predecessors because he has hardcore supporters, who mainly come from the National Capital Region and Mindanao, the two geographical regions where the firebrand leader also took home most of the votes during the elections.

"It’s normal for performance ratings of the presidents the world over, it’s normal for that to slide. It could take a while for the case of President Duterte precisely because of these hardcore supporters," said Tabunda.

Pulse Asia's latest survey showed that Duterte, with performance and trust ratings of 83 percent, continued to enjoy high approval and trust among Filipinos in the last quarter of 2016 despite controversies surrounding the administration.

Tabunda noted, the high numbers from Mindanao helped keep the nationwide results up. Duterte got an approval and trust rating of 91 percent and 92 percent respectively in his home region.

Tabunda also believes that the public is more understanding of Duterte than his predecessor, President Benigno Aquino III, on issues like the pension increase to retired members of the Social Security System (SSS) because it came earlier on his term.

"President Duterte is still six months into office, while President Aquino, his ratings had already gone down because of disappointments with some of the things that people were expecting him to accomplish and did not during his term," she said.

She added, it is also possible that people were "more vocal" during Aquino’s administration.

"I tend to think there is some form of self-censorship sometimes...I think people are more cautious with their statements given that he does take on those who criticize him," she said.