Big decline in Duterte ratings a wake-up call, say several senators

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2017 08:39 PM

MANILA - Senators gave mixed reactions to President Rodrigo Duterte's lower public satisfaction and trust ratings in September 2017. 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon sees the latest survey result as “self-inflicted” which, he says must serve as a “wake-up call” for the president.

Duterte's net satisfaction rating dropped to +48, 18 points lower than the one he got in June 2017, as less Filipinos said they were satisfied with his performance, according to a September 2017 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Drilon, however, was quick to add that he would still have to wait for the next “one or two surveys” before passing judgment.

“The government must take a second look at their policies and the way they enforce their policies. Dahil kung walang pagbabago sa mga susunod na surveys, baka magpatuloy ito," he said. 

For Drilon, the Duterte administration must also look at the 90% decrease in the entry of new foreign direct investments in the country as another indicator. 

"Halos 90% ang bagsak – ito po ay reflection din ng confidence level ng investors sa ating bansa. Ito po ay dapat ding tingnan. The plunge in the domestic trust rating is also reflected in the trust and confidence of the foreign investors as shown by the 90-percent drop in the foreign direct investment from $US1.4 billion in January to June 2016 to only $US 141 million in the similar period in 2017. The lack of confidence is not only in the domestic but also in the foreign scene," Drilon said.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV sees the latest SWS survey result as “very encouraging” as people are “beginning to see the light.”

“They are now seeing Duterte for who he is: a lying, rude, amoral, corrupt and oppressive former mayor who is totally incompetent about governance at the national level,” Trillanes said in a text message.

Senator Chiz Escudero, who is part of the super majority coalition, said in a separate statement: "The administration should take it as a wake-up call and hopefully, be less nonchalant, arrogant and cavalier especially on the part of some Cabinet members and police officials. It’s a reminder to sitting officials that nothing is permanent, everything is fleeting and will come to an end soon enough, whether it's survey numbers or their incumbency."

Senator Bam Aquino advised the Duterte administration not to take the survey result for granted, but instead take it as a “wake-up call” to reexamine the government’s “war on drugs.”

While taking note that presidents usually experience a “dip in trust and approval ratings” after a year in office, these developments must also be recognized by the administration.
“The executive branch should not become complacent. I encourage the President and his administration to view these survey results as a constructive challenge to do more for the Filipino people. Corruption, poverty, and police impunity are three important issues in particular which deserve more attention from the executive branch," Senator Win Gatchalian said.

Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto said it would be up to President Duterte if he would take the SWS survey seriously or just continue doing his job.

In the survey, the Visayas region, which had been considered a stronghold of Duterte, registered a big decline in “satisfied” respondents. The other area is the National Capital Region.

“It's up to the president now, if it's that important to him or not, kung ang tingin niya tama ang ginagawa niya o itutuloy pa rin niya yan. Six years ang binigay sa kanya ng tao e. Kung balewala sa kanya 'yan, itutuloy niya. Kung importante sa kanya, ia-address niya,” Sotto told reporters.

Both Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Vice President Leni Robredo refused to comment on this issue.

The two lady officials said their visit at the Senate on Monday was to witness the floor debates of their proposed budget for 2018.

The Office of the Vice President's (OVP) proposed budget was increased by P20 million – from P443.9 million to P463.9 million.

The Ombudsman’s budget, meantime, is being endorsed by the Senate Finance Committee with a P2.64 billion proposed 2018 budget, from the endorsed P2.49 billion.