Tuesday, June 09, 2009

GMA most distrusted public official; Palace blames critics

A political activist during an anti-Arroyo rally in Mindanao.

MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Arroyo posted the highest disapproval rating and was the most distrusted public official, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey, which also found Vice President Noli de Castro to be most liked.

“Filipinos are most appreciative of the performance of Vice President de Castro and most critical of the work done by President Arroyo,” Pulse Asia reported Monday.

In its May 2009 survey, de Castro attained the highest approval rating at 53 percent, while President Arroyo had the highest disapproval rating at 46 percent.

“De Castro enjoys the highest approval ratings [ranging from 41 percent to 63 percent], while President Arroyo posts the highest disapproval ratings [from 43 percent to 60 percent] in all geographic areas and socioeconomic classes,” Pulse Asia reported.

Mrs. Arroyo’s low approval rating of 26 percent has been almost the same for most of the past four years, according to the survey firm.

But House Speaker Prospero Nograles attained the lowest approval rating among the top government officials, with 20 percent.

After the Vice President, Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno received the second-highest approval rating with 34 percent, followed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile with 32 percent.

After the President, Nograles posted the second-highest disapproval rating with 34 percent, followed by Enrile (26 percent), Puno (25 percent) and de Castro (21 percent).

Pulse Asia reported that between February and May 2009, there were no significant changes in the overall performance ratings of these top government officials.
Ratings on trust

The survey added that “public trust is the predominant sentiment only in the case of Vice President de Castro, while public distrust is most pronounced in the case of President Arroyo.”
“As in the case of public approval, Vice President de Castro gains the highest overall trust rating [48 percent] among the country’s top government officials. In contrast, it is President Arroyo who scores the highest disapproval and distrust ratings [48 percent and 46 percent, respectively],” Pulse Asia said.

For trust ratings, Enrile and Puno were tied at second (28 percent). Mrs. Arroyo had a 25-percent trust rating, while Nograles was the least trusted by respondents, with 17 percent. As for distrust ratings, second to President Arroyo was Nograles with 37 percent. They were followed by Enrile (29 percent) and Puno (28 percent).

De Castro was the least distrusted with 22 percent.
According to Pulse Asia, the overall trust ratings of these top government officials mostly remained constant between February and May 2009.

Pulse Asia’s latest survey on approval and trust ratings of top government officials was conducted from May 4 to 17, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 representative adults age 18 years old and older.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent at the national level, and plus or minus 6 percent in the area level.

Pulse Asia said it conducted the survey “on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort,” and that “no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced” its undertaking.
Critics to blame

Constant attacks and criticisms from the opposition makes President Arroyo even more unpopular to the people, MalacaƱang said also on Monday.

“I think the opposition is just talking about all the negatives about the things that the government is doing,” Deputy Presidential Spokesman Lorelei Fajardo said in a press conference. “They are highlighting the negative side of the leadership of the President, rather than dwelling more on the positive sides and accomplishments of the administration.”

The spokesman added that the President’s unpopularity could also be blamed on her focus to do the right things, rather than the popular things. “The President has decisions in the past that were not popular to the public, like in tax [hikes]. But she knows [that] in the end people, will understand it.”

Fajardo added that the survey result was merely a manifestation of public perception and could not be the representation of reality. “I want to make it clear that it is the perception of the people based on the surveys, but this is not necessarily the truth. It’s not necessarily the real feeling of our people. This is just based on 1,200 people surveyed.” (Rommel C. Lontayao And Angelo S. Samonte / Manila Times)

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