MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte continues to enjoy high approval and trust among Filipinos, Pulse Asia said Friday, despite controversies surrounding the administration in recent months.
Duterte garnered performance and trust ratings of 83 percent in December 2016, said Pulse Asia.
While these are three points lower than his scores of 86 percent for each in September, the changes in the president’s ratings are “marginal…at the national level and across geographic areas and socio-economic classes,” the polling firm said in a statement.
Among those surveyed, those in Mindanao were most inclined to approve of and trust the president, with 91 percent and 92 percent ratings, respectively.
Responses per socio-economic classes also show he remains popular with the Filipino masses, rating higher in terms of approval and trust among Classes D (84 percent and 83 percent) and E (both at 85 percent) compared with those in the ABC (69 percent and 72 percent, respectively).
Duterte’s approval and trust ratings were pulled down by lower ratings in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Luzon, and slight drops in Visayas and Mindanao.
The numbers also indicate a rise in people’s indecisiveness about the firebrand leader across all geographical locations. However, Pulse Asia said these are not considered significant as they fall within statistical error margins.
Palace welcomes survey results
Malacañang welcomed the latest Pulse Asia survey results, saying it is a testament to the continued support of the public to Duterte's programs.
"We are grateful for this continued show of public support and confidence to the President. The high approval and big trust speak volumes about our people’s appreciation of the President’s achievements, especially in his campaign to rid society of drugs, crime and corruption," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
"People are now beginning to feel secure in their homes, in the streets, day and night as incidents of homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, and carnapping went down, according to PNP data."
The survey was conducted from December 6 to 11, 2016 using face-to-face interviews. The pollster questioned 1,200 participants, aged 18 and above, from Metro Manila, other areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The study has a 3% margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level, while subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered by Pulse Asia have a 6 percent error margin, at a 95 percent confidence level.
Prior to the survey, the Duterte administration was confronted by several issues which may have affected people’s opinion.
These included the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo from the Cabinet, the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery), the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in his jail cell, as well as hearings at the House and Senate regarding the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary, and the operations of the so-called Davao Death Squad, among others.