MANILA - On his second year in power, President Rodrigo Duterte remains highly popular among Filipinos, a political analyst said Saturday.
Filipinos continue to have a "largely positive" perception of the firebrand leader despite criticism from different sectors, political analyst Ramon Casiple said.
Casiple attributed Duterte's popularity to his administration's efforts to boost the economy, noting that he would rate the President's performance on his second year a 7 out of 10.
"It's largely positive, in two counts 'yan--economy, 'yung patuloy na mataas na GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth natin and inclusive growth, bumaba unemployment eh...meaning may attempt siya to spread wealth," Casiple told ABS-CBN News in an interview.
(Our GDP continues to grow and there is inclusive growth with the decrease in unemployment, which means there is an attempt to spread wealth.)
The economy grew 6.8 percent in the first 3 months of the year, meeting analysts' expectations. Unemployment in April meanwhile declined to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent.
In terms of peace and order, Casiple said he expects Duterte's crackdown on illegal drugs to continue until the end of his term in 2022.
"You would expect na tuloy-tuloy 'yan (it will continue) 'til 2022," he said.
Casiple, however, noted that Duterte needs to start working on clearly defining the "change" that he wants.
"...Wala ka ma-discern na strategic frame para sa kaniyang patakaran. You can define one policy in a certain area or context but then lahat ng ito saan ba patungo?" he said.
(You cannot discern a strategic frame for his policy. You can define one policy in a certain area or context but then where is all of this headed?)
"Defining the change that he wants is still a problem," he added.
A Social Weather Stations survey in April showed that Duterte still had a "very good" trust rating of 65 points despite a 10-point decline from December 2017.
- report from Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News