By Felipe F. Salvosa II

Pulse Asia says survey fieldwork was conducted from Sept. 16 to 22, 2019 using face-to-face interviews.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval and trust ratings took a hit in the September 2019 Pulse Asia survey, following a controversy over the early release of high-profile prisoners from the national penitentiary.

Pulse Asia’s survey of 1,200 respondents nationwide found that 78 percent approved of Duterte’s performance, while 74 percent had trust in the Chief Executive. The latest ratings were down by 7 and 11 points, respectively, from the June 2019 survey when Duterte got an approval rating of 85 percent and a trust rating of 83 percent.

Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the controversy over the Good Conduct Time Allowance law could have caused the drop, but pointed out that “the rating is still high.”

“It’s more than 70%. Surveys fluctuate depending on when they get them. If it is taken at a time when there are controversies hounding, it may affect the survey results. The fact remains that 78% plus [is] still high,” he told reporters.

Pulse results showed that more people disapproved or became undecided over Duterte’s performance, at 8 percent (+5 points) and 11 percent (+3 points), respectively. The drop in approval was the sharpest in Luzon (except Metro Manila), at 13 points, followed by the Visayas at 6 points. 

By socioeconomic class, Duterte’s approval rating went down across the board — by 7 points each in Class ABC and Class D, and 3 points in Class E.

Trust in Duterte also dropped the highest in Luzon, at 19 points, followed by the Visayas at 8 points and Metro Manila by 7 points. Trust likewise dropped across the board in terms of socioeconomic class: 9 points in Class ABC, 12 points in Class D and 6 points in Class E.

Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo and Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s approval ratings slid, albeit at a smaller pace — by 5 points to 50 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who took over the post in July, got a 64-percent approval rating, while Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin’s rating was practically unchanged at 42 percent.

Robredo’s spokesman, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, indicated that the vice president’s lower rating was partly due to lack of publicity, and said her office would redouble efforts “both in continuing to serve the public and keeping the Filipino people better informed of the work VP Leni is doing.”

“We are likewise grateful that the VP continues to enjoy significant support from our fellow Filipinos. This support will further strengthen her commitment to stay true to her Constitutional mandate, uphold our nation’s interests, and work to uplift the lives of our people, especially the poor and marginalized,” he said. (