Pulse Asia Research, Inc. is pleased to share with you some findings on the Performance and Trust Ratings of the Top National Government Officials and the Performance and Trust Ratings of Key Government Institutions from the June 2018 Ulat ng Bayan national survey. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information.
The survey fieldwork was conducted from June 15 – 21, 2018 using face-to-face interviews. In the weeks leading up to the fieldwork for this survey and during the actual conduct of the interviews, the following local and international developments dominated the headlines:
The following are several of the key developments which dominated the headlines in the weeks prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey:
1. The 19 June 2018 decision of the Supreme Court, via an 8-6 vote, affirming its earlier ruling that led to the ouster of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno on the basis of a quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG);
2. The reversal by Ombudsman Cochita Carpio-Morales of her 03 March 2017 decision clearing former President Benigno S. Aquino III of criminal liability arising from his usurpation of the budgetary powers of Congress in connection with his approval of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP);
3. The start of the regional consultations on the draft federal constitution on 17 June 2018;
4. The conflicting statements of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) situation, with the President reiterating his no-to-war stance toward China and the DFA Secretary claiming that the former is ready to declare war on China or any other country that attempts to exploit natural resources in the WPS;
5. The approval on third and final reading by the House of Representatives of a bill seeking to strengthen the powers of the OSG;
6. Calls for a wage increase from labor groups and other sectors in the face of the continuing increase in oil prices and the depreciation of the local currency vis-à-vis the American dollar;
7. The remarks made by President Duterte and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno that suspending the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law will undermine the delivery of basic services and will only do more harm than good to that national economy;
8. President Duterte’s official visit to South Korea from 03 to 05 June 2018 during which he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in affirmed the “special friendship” between their countries;
9. The suspension for three (3) months of the peace negotiations between the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (NDF);
10. The signing into law by President Duterte of the Mental Health Act on 20 June 2018 which seeks to provide state-funded mental health care at the grassroots level and to promote mental health education in schools and workplaces;
11. The killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija on 10 June 2018 and that of Mayor Ronald Tirol of Buenavista, Bohol on 27 May 2018;
12. The arrest of more than 7,000 loiterers or “tambays” in Metro Manila alone since President Duterte’s 13 June 2018 order for the police to be stricter against loiterers;
13. The statement made by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra clearing Solicitor General Jose Calida of any wrongdoing in connection with various contracts entered into by a security firm owned by his family with the DOJ;
14. The confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat as the new Department of Tourism (DOT) lead official;
15. The passage on third and final reading of their respective versions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the House of Representatives on 30 May 2018 by a vote of 227 to 11 and by the Senate a day after via a 21-0 vote;
16. The 12 June 2018 peace agreement signed by United States (US) President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; the transfer of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; and the withdrawal of the US from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council;
17. In economic and financial developments, the decline in the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) which plunged to 7,098.15 points on 21 June 2018, the lowest closing level since 04 January 2017, due in part to market uncertainties; the continued weakening of the Philippine peso against the American dollar which makes the local currency one of the worst performing currencies among so-called emerging economies in the first half of 2018; the statement of a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) official that a Filipino family of five (5) would be able to survive on P 10,000 per month which led various labor groups and individuals to challenge the country’s economic managers to live on P 10,000 monthly; a clarification was issued by NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia to the effect that a typical Filipino family would need P 42,000 monthly to be able to live decently.
Based on a multistage probability sample of 1,800 registered voters 18 years old and above, Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey has a + 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level: + 6% for Metro Manila, + 3% for the rest of Luzon and + 5% for each of Visayas and Mindanao. Those interested in further technical details may refer to our website (www.pulseasia.ph)
Pulse Asia Research’s pool of academic fellows takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data. In keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes. Pulse Asia Research undertakes Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.
For any clarification or questions, kindly contact Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda, Research Director of Pulse Asia Research at 09189436816 or Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia Research President at 09189335497 (via mobile, Viber, or Telegram) or at firstname.lastname@example.org (via email.).
Three (3) of the leading government officials of the Philippines enjoy majority approval and trust scores in June 2018
Majority approval scores are obtained by President Rodrigo R. Duterte (88%), Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo (62%), and former Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III (72%).1 A big plurality of Filipinos (47%) express appreciation for the work done by House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez. Levels of disapproval for the performance of these top officials vary from 3% for President Duterte to 14% for Vice-President Robredo while their indecision figures range from 10% for the President to 38% for the House Speaker. (Please refer to Table 1.)
President Duterte and former Senate President Pimentel register majority approval ratings across geographic areas (83% to 99% and 66% to 81%, respectively) and socio-economic groupings (84% to 91% and 67% to 76%, respectively). For her part, Vice-President Robredo enjoys majority approval scores in every geographic area (56% to 73%) and in Classes D and E (both at 63%). Appreciation toward the latter’s work is only a plurality sentiment in Class ABC (41%). In the case of House Speaker Alvarez, most Mindanawons (68%) and those in Class E (52%) approve of his work in the past quarter. However, the lawmaker records essentially the same approval and indecision figures in Metro Manila (39% versus 41%), the rest of Luzon (41% versus 42%), the Visayas (44% versus 48%), Class ABC (45% versus 30%), and Class D (47% versus 40%). (Please refer to Table 2.)
In June 2018, trust is the predominant sentiment among Filipinos toward President Duterte (87%), Vice-President Robredo (56%), and former Senate President Pimentel (64%) while a big plurality of Filipinos express trust in House Speaker Alvarez (45%). Indecision is the plurality opinion on the matter of trusting or distrusting former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno (45%). With respect to distrust in these officials, it is more notable toward the Supreme Court Chief Justice (35%) and least manifest toward President Duterte (2%). (Please refer to Table 3.)
The same officials who have majority approval ratings in all geographic areas and socio-economic classes also have majority trust scores in these subgroupings – President Duterte (79% to 94% and 82% to 88%, respectively) and former Senate President Pimentel (61% to 71% and 58% to 66%, respectively). Majority trust ratings are enjoyed by Vice-President Robredo in most geographic areas (54% to 62%) and Class D (59%). However, those in Metro Manila and Classes ABC and E withhold majority trust ratings from her (32% to 50%). (Please refer to Table 4.)
The only majority trust rating of House Speaker Alvarez is given by Mindanawons (61%). Trust is the plurality sentiment toward the latter in Class D (46%) while indecision on the matter of trusting or distrusting him is expressed by nearly half of those in Metro Manila (46%). Meanwhile, House Speaker Alvarez posts almost or exactly the same trust and indecision figures in the rest of Luzon (both at 41%), the Visayas (46% versus 39%), Class ABC (42% versus 39%), and Class E (43% versus 42%).
Most Metro Manilans cannot say if they trust or distrust former Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno (57%). Ambivalence toward the latter’s trustworthiness is shared by big pluralities in the rest of Luzon (49%) and Class D (46%). On the other hand, the former Supreme Court Chief Justice has practically the same distrust and indecision ratings in the Visayas (39% versus 42%), Mindanao (44% versus 33%), Class ABC (40% versus 45%), and Class E (37% versus 41%).
Notable movements in the performance and trust ratings of these top officials occur between March and June 2018
At the national level, all four (4) government officials experience gains in public approval for their performance during the period March to June 2018 – President Duterte (+8 percentage points), Vice-President Robredo (+7 percentage points), former Senate President Pimentel (+11 percentage points), and House Speaker Alvarez (+6 percentage points).2 In addition, ambivalence toward the work of former Senate President Pimentel and disapproval for Vice-President Robredo’s performance eases at this time (-8 and -7 percentage points, respectively). (Please refer to Table 5.)
Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, the same officials experience improvements in their respective approval ratings in Metro Manila (+20 to +27 percentage points) and in Class D (+7 to +11 percentage points). Vice-President Robredo, former Senate President Pimentel, and House Speaker Alvarez also register gains in their approval scores in Mindanao (+16 to +21 percentage points). In contrast, disapproval for the work done by President Duterte, former Senate President Pimentel, and House Speaker Alvarez becomes less pronounced in Metro Manila (-13 to -27 percentage points) while Vice-President Robredo’s disapproval rating declines in Mindanao (-12 percentage points).
With respect to indecision regarding the work of these officials, it becomes less manifest in the case of presidential performance among Metro Manilans (-14 percentage points), more manifest toward the work done by House Speaker Alvarez among Visayans (+20 percentage points), less marked regarding the work of former Senate President Pimentel and House Speaker Alvarez among Mindanawons (-23 and -18 percentage points, respectively), and less notable concerning the performance of the former Senate President among those in Class D (-9 percentage points).
The overall trust ratings of President Duterte, former Senate President Pimentel, and House Speaker Alvarez go up between March and June 2018 (+9 to +11 percentage points). In contrast, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno’s distrust score increases during this period (+8 percentage points). Ambivalence toward the trustworthiness of President Duterte and former Senate President Pimentel eases at this time (-6 and -12 percentage points, respectively). (Please refer to Table 6.)
Improvements in the trust ratings of President Duterte, Vice-President Robredo, former Senate President Pimentel, and House Speaker Alvarez occur in Metro Manila between March and June 2018 (+13 to +23 percentage points). The trust ratings of President Duterte, former Senate President Pimentel, and House Speaker Alvarez also increase in Class D (+11 to +15 percentage points) while another gain is enjoyed by the former Senate President in Mindanao (+13 percentage points). Meanwhile, Vice-President Robredo’s trust rating drops in Class E (-13 percentage points). As far as distrust scores are concerned, only those of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno change during this period as they increase in the Visayas (+12 percentage points), Mindanao (+13 percentage points), and Class D (+8 percentage points).
Ambivalence concerning the trustworthiness of President Duterte, Vice-President Robredo, and former Senate President Pimentel (-18 to -20 percentage points) becomes less manifest in Metro Manila while the reverse holds true in the case of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno (+16 percentage points). In Mindanao, the indecision figures of the former Senate President, the House Speaker, and the former Supreme Court Chief Justice also go down (-12 to -18 percentage points). Similar movements in the indecision figures of President Duterte, former Senate President Pimentel, and House Speaker Alvarez take place in Class D (-7 to -13 percentage points).
Both chambers of Congress and the Supreme Court post majority approval and trust ratings in June 2018
Sizeable majority approval figures are enjoyed by the Senate (69%), the House of Representatives (66%), and the Supreme Court (63%) at the national level. These institutions register basically the same indecision and disapproval ratings (23% to 27% and 7% to 10%, respectively). Both the Senate and the House of Representatives record majority approval scores in every geographic area (64% to 74% and 55% to 69%, respectively) and socio-economic class (68% to 70% and 65% to 69%, respectively). Approval is the prevailing opinion toward the work of the Supreme Court in most geographic areas and all socio-economic groupings (61% to 72% and 58% to 67%, respectively), with Metro Manila being the exception (49%). (Please refer to Table 7.)
Most Filipinos trust the Senate (61%), the House of Representatives (58%), and the Supreme Court (54%). The distrust ratings of these institutions are statistically the same (6% to 7%) while their indecision figures range from 33% for the Senate to 39% for the Supreme Court. Trust is the predominant sentiment toward both the Senate and the House of Representatives across geographic areas (52% to 72% and 52% to 67%, respectively) and socio-economic groupings (60% to 63% and 55% to 66%, respectively). Majority trust ratings are also enjoyed by the Supreme Court in most geographic areas and socio-economic classes (54% to 60% and 54% to 55%, respectively). Half of those in Class ABC (50%) trust the Supreme Court but almost the same percentages of Metro Manilans either trust the Higher Court (46%) or are ambivalent about its trustworthiness (44%). (Please refer to Table 8.)
There are several marked changes in the approval and trust scores of these key government institutions during the period March and June 2018
The Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court all enjoy higher overall approval ratings in June 2018 compared to March 2018 (63% to 69% versus 53% to 60%. On the other hand, the indecision figures of these institutions decline (-6 to -10 percentage points). In the different geographic areas and socio-economic classes, the Senate enjoys improvements in its approval ratings in Metro Manila (+25 percentage points), Mindanao (+15 percentage points), and Class D (+10 percentage points). The approval scores of the Lower House go up in Metro Manila (+27 percentage points), the Visayas (+15 percentage points), Class D (+9 percentage points), and Class E (+14 percentage points). As for the Supreme Court, approval for its work becomes more pronounced in the rest of Luzon (+11 percentage points), Class D (+8 percentage points), and Class E (+15 percentage points). With regard to these institutions’ disapproval ratings, the only notable change is the decline in the disapproval score of the House of Representatives in Metro Manila (-16 percentage points). (Please refer to Table 9.)
While ambivalence regarding the trustworthiness of the House of Representatives remains generally constant between March and June 2018 across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, in the case of the Senate, it eases in Metro Manila and Mindanao (-14 and -15 percentage points, respectively). With regard to the indecision figures of the Supreme Court, they decrease in the rest of Luzon (-10 percentage points), Mindanao (-13 percentage points), Class D (-8 percentage points), and Class E (-15 percentage points).
The overall trust ratings of these institutions increase between March and June 2018 (+6 to +7 percentage points) while their national indecision and distrust figures remain basically the same. Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, the only notable movements during this period are the: (1) rise in the trust ratings of the Senate and the House of Representatives in Metro Manila (+26 and +28 percentage points, respectively) and in Class D (+7 and +9 percentage points, respectively); (2) increase in the level of trust in the Supreme Court in the rest of Luzon and Class D (+11 and +8 percentage points, respectively); and (3) drop in the distrust scores of the Senate and the House of Representatives among Metro Manilans (-21 and -26 percentage points, respectively). (Please refer to Table 10.)
1 The change in the Senate leadership took place on 21 May 2018 when Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III stepped down and gave way to Senator Vicente Sotto III. This transpired after 15 senators signed a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate to re-organize its leadership and to elect Senator Sotto as the next Senate President. The performance probe asks respondents to assess the work done by selected government officials in the three (3) months prior to the conduct of the survey. Senator Pimentel still occupied the Senate presidency during most of the quarter covered by this survey’s performance probe.
2 Although the Supreme Court decided on the quo warranto petition against former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A.Sereno only on 11 May 2018, she was no longer included in the performance probe because she had been on an indefinite leave since 01 March 2018.