President Rodrigo Duterte's trust and approval ratings remain at an all-time high in December 2017, maintaining numbers that made him so far the most approved and trusted President in nearly a decade.
Duterte received an approval rating of 80 percent and trust rating of 82 percent in an "Ulat ng Bayan" survey conducted by Pulse Asia from December 10 to 15 and 17 in 2017.
The President's December 2017 ratings did not stray far from his September 2017 ratings, wherein he scored 80 percent in both approval and trust ratings.
An earlier survey by Pulse Asia put Duterte as having higher average trust and approval ratings than former Presidents Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno Aquino III.
This is despite Pulse Asia's inconsistent administration of surveys and the worldwide criticism of the current administration's bloody war on illegal drugs.
While the President has majority approval ratings and trust figures across all geographic locations, Mindanao has the highest evaluation of Duterte as respondents there gave him a 93 percent approval score and 94 percent trust rating.
The chief executive's approval and trust ratings are also evenly spread across socio-economic classes, earning 77 percent (Class ABC), 79 percent (Class D), 85 percent (Class E) for approval ratings and 78 percent (Class ABC), 80 percent (Class D), and 85 percent (Class E) for trust scores.
Reacting to the survey, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque appealed to the public to translate Duterte’s approval and trust ratings “into action by standing as one.”
“This number shows that our people are aware and recognize the significant strides the President undertook in his one year and a half in office,” Roque said.
“We assure our people that he will continue to discharge his duties with the nation’s interests foremost in his mind. We thus call on everyone to put this appreciation into action by standing as one and helping the government as we continue to address the problem of poverty, illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption,” he added.
Fourteen issues preoccupied Filipinos during the time of the survey:
1) The ratification of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN);
2) Approval of the extension of martial law in Mindanao for a year;
3) The hearings on the impeachment complaint against Sereno;
4) The suspension of the Department of Health's dengue immunization program due to the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia;
5) Return of the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to the anti-illegal drug campaign;
6) Dismissal of several Bureau of Customs officials in connection to the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu in May 2017;
7) Declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National People's Army as terrorist organizations;
8) Controversy over the call of Duterte's supporters for a revolutionary government;
9) The launching of anti-extrajudicial killings groups and campaigns;
10) Sandiganbayan finding probable cause to try former President Benigno Aquino III for the death of 44 PNP-Special Action Forces in 2015;
11) Plunder charges brought against several officials in connection to the MRT-3 maintenance system contract;
12) Changes in the Duterte administration in connection to the problems continuing to plague the MRT 3 system;
13) Duterte's participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and the Philippines hosting the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in November 2017; and
14) Entry of China Telecom as a third player in the Philippines telecommunications industry.
A sample of 1,200 individuals aged 18 and above participated in Pulse Asia's Ulat ng Bayan survey.
The survey has a ±3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level and subnational estimates for each geographic area covered in the survey has a ±6 percent error margin at the same confidence level. — with Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/KG/RSJ, GMA News