Duterte satisfaction rating at 62 pct as last year in office began: SWS

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2021 05:19 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2021 08:04 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte gives a public statement from the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on Sept. 22, 2021. Simeon Celi, Presidential Photo/File
President Rodrigo Duterte gives a public statement from the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on Sept. 22, 2021. Simeon Celi, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA (UPDATE) — President Rodrigo Duterte's net satisfaction rating at the start of his last year in office was at 62 percent, roughly the same score he got when he started his term in 2016, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said on Thursday. 

Some 75 percent of respondents in a June 2021 poll said they were satisfied with Duterte's performance, while 13 percent said they were not. Twelve percent said they were undecided, according to a webinar presentation by SWS fellow Jorge Tigno. 

Duterte's net rating, or the difference between those satisfied and dissatisfied with his performance, was at 62 percent, he said. 

"Looking at comparable data points across all the presidents beginning with Corazon Aquino, the noticeable difference for Duterte is that his net satisfaction rating at the beginning of his final year, in June of ’21, is roughly the same as his very first satisfaction rating back in September 2016," Tigno said. 

Upon assuming the president, Duterte's satisfaction rating was +64 rating, he noted. 

"If you look at the beginning of the final year of past presidents, we see lower net satisfaction ratings, compared to the ratings when they first assumed office," said Tigno, who is also a political science professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman. 

Previous presidents scored the following ratings at the start of their final year in office, he said:

  • Corazon Aquino, +24 in April 1991, from +53 in first year 
  • Fidel V. Ramos, +49 in June 1997, from +66
  • Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, +30 in June 2015, from +60 

Former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Estrada were "outliers," he said. 

Estrada failed to finish his term after being ousted in 2001, Tigno noted. 

Meanwhile, Macapagal-Arroyo's ratings never had a real honeymoon period at the outset, given she took over the presidency from Estrada via succession, said SWS fellow-in-residence Steven Rood. 

Arroyo later won a presidential mandate in 2004.


“There is no single explanation for Duterte’s high satisfaction rating; rather, there are multiple reasons,” said SWS fellow Geoffrey Ducanes. 
One factor in Duterte's rating is "his strong base support, which has stuck with him so far, regardless of economic and other developments," he said. 

This is "best exemplified" by residents of Mindanao, from where Duterte hails, Ducanes said. 

In June 2018, 84 percent of Mindanao respondents remained satisfied with Duterte even as his nationwide rating fell to its lowest. 

This was the year Duterte called God "stupid", Boracay was closed for rehabilitation, then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was ousted, and three cops were found guilty of murder over the August 2017 slay of teenager Kian delos Santos during a drug sweep.

"We call this the hometown advantage," Ducanes said of Duterte's steady Mindanao score. 

He said this "did not exist" for Duterte's predecessor, Aquino III. 

Ducanes noted Aquino started his term with the highest satisfaction in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, but tallied the lowest satisfaction ratings in these areas toward the end of his term. 

Another factor in Duterte's rating "is satisfaction with the administration’s overall pamamalakad and also on some specific issues, such as helping the poor and to some extent, the drug war," Ducanes said. 

About 69 percent of families received ayuda last year, based on SWS data, noted Rood. 

This year, the cash assistance was mostly in Metro Manila and 4 surrounding areas, which the government called NCR Plus. Some 79 percent of families in the capital region received cash aid, while 65 percent got aid in other Luzon areas, he said. 

Some respondents were also attracted to aspects of Duterte's character such as perceived decisiveness and diligence, Ducanes noted.

"In the last survey, those who see these character traits in him tend to be satisfied in his performance as well," he said. 


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