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Arroyo net satisfaction rating hits record low in SWS poll

Public satisfaction with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has plunged to an all-time low of -53 in the latest Social Weather Stations survey, less than three months before she bows out of office. The survey was conducted last March and was made exclusive to and reported by BusinessWorld on Monday. President Arroyo’s rating was the lowest achieved by any President since the SWS started the survey in May 1986. None of her predecessors — Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada — received a negative score.
Of the presidents since May 1986, only Mrs. Arroyo posted a negative net satisfaction rating. Graph from BusinessWorld Online
Mrs. Arroyo’s "very bad" -53 rating is the difference between the 69 percent who said they did not approve of Mrs. Arroyo’s performance and the 16 percent who said the opposite. This means nearly seven out of 10 Filipinos did not approve of her performance. The survey interviewed 2,100 registered voters last March 19 to 22 and had an error margin of ±2.2 percent. The March survey also asked respondents if they believed Mrs. Arroyo wanted to extend her term by seeking a congressional seat in the second district of Pampanga, her home province. Sixty percent disagreed, 24 percent agreed, while 16 percent were undecided. Palace defense Malacañang blamed the low ratings on the campaign season, saying Mrs. Arroyo had been the subject of attacks by candidates wanting to earn brownie points with voters. Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar also insists Mrs. Arroyo will not be bothered by the latest SWS report, and that she preferred to be judged by history instead. "It’s the campaign season. She is being criticized by some broadcasters, so I am not surprised her popularity rating is down, despite her administration’s achievements as shown by our ads," Olivar told dzXL radio in Filipino. "The president will focus on her work and let history judge her. It is not her aim to improve her popularity rating," he added. Administration critics allege that Mrs. Arroyo is trying to perpetuate herself in power by seeking a House of Representatives seat so that she can become prime minister once her House allies change the form of government from presidential to parliamentary. According to the BusinessWorld report, the President’s -53 rating has "eclipsed" her previous lowest score of -50 in July 2008. Mrs. Arroyo posted her highest net satisfaction rating of +30 in March 2004. "Her rating fell into negative territory seven months later and has remained there since," the report said. It was the late President Aquino who posted the highest net satisfaction rating of +72 in October 1986, eights months after she rose to power and restored democracy. It was the same year the SWS started its survey on satisfaction ratings of Philippine presidents. — Sophia Regina M. Dedace/RSJ/NPA, GMANews.TV