MANILA — The approval ratings of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte fell in the third quarter of 2023, according to a Pulse Asia survey released on Monday.
Approval for Marcos Jr.'s work declined in the Philippines as a whole to 65 percent in September from 80 percent in June.
His approval rating was also down in all areas and classes (-14 to -15 percentage points and -12 to -29 percentage points, respectively), Pulse Asia noted.
Duterte's ratings dropped to 73 percent from 84 percent overall, as well as in Metro Manila (-12 percentage points), the rest of Luzon (-13 percentage points), Class ABC (-18 percentage points), and Class D (-11 percentage points).
"Although the President and the Vice-President continue to enjoy majority approval scores at the national level and across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, both experience significant erosions in their respective approval ratings during the period June 2023 to September 2023," the pollster said.
Both Marcos and Duterte enjoyed majority trust ratings at 71 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
'DISAPPOINTED, BUT HOPEFUL' SUPPORTERS
Around the time that the Sept. 10 to 14 survey was conducted, Congress was deliberating on the 2024 national budget that included P4.8 billion in proposed confidential funds and intelligence funds for some government agencies, including Marcos and Duterte's offices, Pulse Asia noted.
It said other key developments during this time included Chinese incursions into the West Philippine Sea and an increase in the prices of rice and vegetables.
Based on current data and trends during the previous Duterte administration, a decrease in Marcos Jr.'s "is unavoidable if the problems persist," said De La Salle University political science professor Anthony Lawrence Borja.
"It becomes a matter of how low it will go, and if distrust and disapproval towards his subordinates can cushion the impact. Filipinos have a curious capacity to separate subordinates from the leaders they support in terms of placing blame for perceived failures," he told ABS-CBN News.
Explaining Marcos and Duterte's ratings decline in different geographic areas, Borja also noted that national problems like inflation could "wash away regionalistic-tribal loyalties."
"Regionalism or ethno-linguistic tribal loyalty is but one factor. As far as recent studies go, I think it plays a heavier role during elections. However, in propping up a regime, national problems and issues can’t easily be placed within regionalistic containers," Borja said.
Meanwhile, the gap between approval and trust ratings could "point to disappointed but hopeful supporters," he said.
To shore up support, government messaging and projections "must convince the public that it can still perform despite the persistence of economic problems," he added.
The same Pulse Asia survey found that half of adult Filipinos had a positive assessment of the work done by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Half of respondents were unable to say if they approved or disapproved of the performance of Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez obtained "essentially the same approval and indecision ratings (41 percent versus 44 percent)," Pulse Asia said.
The poll had 1,200 respondents and a ± 2.8 percent error margin.