What do the Pulse Asia survey results mean for Philippine officials?

By RG Cruz

In the aftermath of the latest Pulse Asia surveys, concerned government officials are taking stock of what the numbers mean.

Months of the Senate’s inquiries on corruption allegations from the time he was mayor of Makati City have taken their toll on Vice President Jejomar Binay.

In a November 2014 Pulse Asia nationwide poll, Binay’s approval and trust ratings fell to an all-time low – nearly half his ratings in March before the Senate probe started.

There was also an increase in those who distrusted him.

“This is the first time that the vice president has a lower than majority approval and a lower than majority trust rating,” said Ronald Holmes, President of Pulse Asia. “It is a significant decline.”

A separate Pulse Asia poll from the same period also showed – while Binay remains the frontrunner for the 2016 presidential elections – he can only claim 26 percent of the vote if elections were held today.

On Friday, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said Binay’s ratings can only get worse.

“Baba ng baba,” said Sen. Santiago. “Ano good news in future for him.”

“No amount of mudslinging will distract the vice president from assisting our overseas Filipino workers,” said the Office of the Vice President, “providing decent and affordable housing for all, and improving the quality of life for Filipinos.”

The vice president’s camp says it respects the survey results, adding that mudslinging won’t deter Binay from his job.

President Aquino is the only government official who got majority approval and trust ratings in the new Pulse Asia survey.

“These latest figures show the public’s continuing confidence in our administration,” said Secretary Edwin Lacierda, the presidential spokesperson, “which from the beginning has endeavored to bring about reform and real change in the country.”

Malacanang hailed the results, claiming its proof the president enjoys the public’s confidence.

“At the end of the day, thank you, thank you na lang sa mga kababayan natin sa pananatili ng tiwala,” said President Aquino. “At yun naman lang ang pinagmamalaki ko. Sabi ko, lahat ng mga nilabanan nating vested interests, lahat nung issues na hinarap natin, may kumpiyansa ako sa ssarili ko dahil nandiyan sila.”

“He has not really rebounded,” said Ronald Holmes, regarding Aquino’s ratings. “PNoy’s approval and trust ratings are unchanged from June 2014.”

But Pulse Asia President Ronald Holmes says Aquino’s ratings are still the same as during the public furor over his Disbursement Acceleration Program in June.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Chief Justice Lourdes Serano had similar approval and trust ratings.

As for Senate President Franklin Drilon, there are as many people who trust him as those who have not decided yet whether they should do so.


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