[divider /]

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 Key Government Institutions from the December 2016 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 December 6 – 11, 2016 using face-to-face interviews.

In the weeks leading up to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey, the following developments preoccupied Filipinos:

  1. The resignation of Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo on 04 December 2016 as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) after being barred by President Rodrigo R. Duterte from attending Cabinet meetings due to “irreconcilable differences” between them, according to Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr.; the latter would eventually be appointed to replace Vice-President Robredo as HUDCC Chairperson; also instructed not to attend Cabinet meetings was Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan but despite this, the CHED Chairperson said she will stay on at the agency;
  2. The decision of the Supreme Court (SC) by a vote of 9-5 (with one abstention) to dismiss the consolidated petitions arguing against the burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB); a week after the SC’s decision was made public, the remains of former President Marcos were laid to rest at the LNMB on 18 November 2016; various protest actions were held in Metro Manila and other parts of the country in the aftermath of the court ruling and the former President’s burial;
  3. The investigation by the Senate and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. in his jail cell in Leyte on 05 November 2016 in the course of a search operation for drugs and firearms; after determining that the latter’s killing was a rubout, the NBI filed murder charges against reinstated Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 Director Marvin Marcos and 27 other individuals; Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, said he is convinced that the killing was premeditated and the application for a search warrant was done to give a semblance of legitimacy to the CIDG Region 8 operation; in a related development, the son of former Albuera Mayor Espinosa, Mr. Kerwin Espinosa, testified before the Senate and the House of Representatives that he gave money to Senator Leila M. de Lima to support her campaign for a Senate seat in the May 2016 elections through her driver, Mr. Ronnie Dayan;
  4. For his part, President Duterte backed the police version of the events that led to the killing of Albuera Mayor Espinosa as he stated that he will not allow the police officers involved in the Leyte operation to be jailed; nonetheless, he vowed not to interfere in the legal proceedings against them;
  5. The recommendation made by the Senate Committee on Justice to file kidnapping, murder, and perjury charges against Mr. Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), who testified that President Duterte was directly involved in extrajudicial killings in Davao City while serving as its mayor; the Senate Committee also cleared the Duterte administration of any involvement in the extrajudicial killings which have occurred in the course of its war against illegal drugs; for his part, Mr. Matobato filed a criminal complaint against President Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman for the President’s reported involvement in murder, kidnapping, torture, genocide, and other crimes against humanity while serving as mayor of Davao City;
  6. The decision of the SC to clear three (3) judges included by President Duterte in one of his drug lists on the grounds that their being named as drug protectors was made “prematurely and without evidence” and that the High Court “found no prima facie case has been established against the said judges”;
  7. President Duterte’s order to arrest gaming tycoon Mr. Jack Lam immediately on charges of bribery and economic sabotage after a raid conducted in his illegal casino operations in Clark, Pampanga on 24 November 2016 and claims made by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II that a representative of Mr. Lam attempted to bribe him a few days after the raid; however, Bureau of Immigration (BI) records showed that Mr. Lam left for Hong Kong on 29 November 2016 and there are no records of him returning to the Philippines thereafter;
  8. The Sandiganbayan’s acquittal of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband as well as former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairperson Benjamin Abalos, Sr. in connection with a second graft case filed against them stemming from the botched US$ 329-million ZTE national broadband network (NBN) deal; also acquitted of graft charges by the Sandiganbayan is former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay in relation to the alleged overpriced purchase of furniture for the Makati City Hall in 1999;
  9. The move of Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Jose Vicente Salazar to go on a one-month leave following allegations of corruption in his agency, specifically those raised by former ERC Director Francisco Villa, Jr. in three (3) letters written several months prior to committing suicide on 09 November 2016; in his letters, the former ERC Director said he was being pressured to approve procurement contracts and hire consultants without proper bidding and hiring procedures;
  10. The appointment of Army Chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año as the successor of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Ricardo Visaya; the new AFP Chief of Staff vowed to support the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs by ensuring that the necessary military capabilities will be extended to the police and other enforcement agencies to help bring down the country’s drug syndicates;
  11. The observance of International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2016 amidst calls for the Duterte administration to end its violent war against illegal drugs which has resulted in nearly 6,000 deaths since July 2016;
  12. The election of Mr. Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States (US) following his victory at the polls over former US State Secretary and Senator Hillary Clinton; after congratulating the US President-Elect, President Duterte said he will no longer quarrel with the US because Mr. Trump won the US presidential elections;
  13. The impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye arising from accusations of conspiring to extort US$ 69 million from big business in exchange for political favors such as granting presidential pardons to business leaders convicted of corruption charges; and
  14. The weakening of the local currency versus the American dollar with the Philippine peso surpassing the P 49 mark on 17 November 2016 following expectations of an increase in US government spending strengthened the US dollar; the increase in headline inflation – due to higher prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, housing, water, electricity, gas, and transportation – which, at 2.5% in November 2016, is the highest it has been in 21 months, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

As in our previous Ulat ng Bayan surveys, this nationwide survey is based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level. Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level. Those interested in further technical details concerning the survey’s questionnaire and sampling design may request Pulse Asia Research in writing for fuller details, including copies of the pre-tested questions actually used.

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 Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia Research President at 09189335497 or via email (ronald.holmes@gmail.com).

[divider /]

Three (3) of the country’s leading national government officials register majority approval ratings in December 2016; public opinion concerning the work done by these top officials remains generally unchanged between September and December 2016

Most Filipinos express appreciation for the quarterly performance of President Rodrigo R. Duterte (83%), Vice-President Maria Leonor B. Robredo (62%), and Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III (55%). Approval is the plurality sentiment as regards the work done by Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno (47%) while Speaker of the House of Representatives Pantaleon D. Alvarez records virtually the same approval and indecision figures (43% and 41%, respectively). Levels of disapproval for these officials’ performance range from 5% for President Duterte to 16% for Vice-President Robredo while their indecision figures vary from 13% for President Duterte to 41% for House Speaker Alvarez. Between September and December 2016, the only significant movement in these officials’ national performance ratings is the increase in the overall disapproval score of Vice-President Robredo (+7 percentage points). Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, the only marked movement in these officials’ ratings is the drop in the approval rating of Senate President Pimentel in Class ABC (-25 percentage points). (Please refer to Tables 1 and 2.)

Both President Duterte and Vice-President Robredo enjoy majority approval ratings in all geographic areas (78% to 91% and 53% to 69%, respectively) and socio-economic classes (69% to 85% and 56% to 62%, respectively). Senate President Pimentel has majority approval scores in Metro Manila (51%), the rest of Luzon (54%), Mindanao (63%), and Classes D and E (56% and 53%, respectively). Half of Visayans (50%) approve of the Senate President’s work while nearly the same approval and indecision ratings are registered by the latter in Class ABC (49% and 42%, respectively). (Please refer to Table 3.)

The only majority approval rating of House Speaker Alvarez is granted by Mindanaoans (57%). The lawmaker records almost the same approval and indecision figures in the other geographic areas (35% to 42% versus 40% to 46%) and all socio-economic groupings (39% to 47% versus 37% to 49%).  In the case of Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno, half of Metro Manilans (50%) are appreciative of her performance while nearly the same percentage of those in the other geographic areas and socio-economic classes either approve of (41% to 48% and 46% to 47%, respectively) or are ambivalent toward her performance (36% to 42% and 37% to 45%, respectively).

Only President Duterte and Vice-President Robredo are trusted by most Filipinos in the last quarter of 2016 (83% and 58%, respectively); the only notable changes in these officials’ trust ratings between September and December 2016 is the drop in the national trust score of Vice-President Robredo (-7 percentage points)

While a huge majority of Filipinos (83%) trust President Duterte, a small majority (58%) expresses the same sentiment toward Vice-President Robredo. Half of Filipinos (50%) trust Senate President Pimentel. Indecision is the plurality opinion regarding the trustworthiness of House Speaker Alvarez (46%). Meanwhile, Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno scores essentially the same trust and indecision figures (41% and 44%, respectively). These top officials’ distrust ratings vary from 4% for President Duterte to 15% for Vice-President Robredo while levels of ambivalence about their trustworthiness range from 13% for President Duterte to 46% for House Speaker Alvarez. During the period September to December 2016, the only significant change in the trust ratings of these leading government officials is recorded by Vice-President Robredo as she experiences a decline in her overall trust score (-7 percentage points). (Please refer to Tables 4 and 5.)

Trust is the majority sentiment toward President Duterte and Vice-President Robredo in every geographic area (77% to 92% and 51% to 66%, respectively). The President also enjoys majority trust scores in all socio-economic classes (72% to 85%) while the Vice-President has majority trust ratings in Classes D and E (60% and 56%, respectively). The latter registers almost the same trust and indecision figures in Class ABC (47% versus 41%). Meanwhile, at least half of Metro Manilans (50%), Mindanaoans (59%), and those in Class D (52%) trust Senate President Pimentel. Basically the same trust and indecision figures are obtained by the Senate President in the rest of Luzon (49% versus 43%), the Visayas (42% versus 44%), and Class E (49% versus 43%) while a bare majority of those in Class ABC (51%) are unable to say if they trust or distrust him. (Please refer to Table 6.)

Most Mindanaoans (53%) trust House Speaker Alvarez while the majority sentiment in the rest of Luzon (51%) concerning his trustworthiness is one of ambivalence. A huge plurality in Class D (46%) are also undecided about the latter’s trustworthiness while almost the same trust and indecision figures are recorded by the House Speaker in Metro Manila (40% versus 45%), the Visayas (32% versus 44%), Class ABC (37% versus 48%), and Class E (39% versus 45%). As for Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno, half of those in the rest of Luzon (50%) are ambivalent on the matter of trusting or distrusting her while she registers about the same trust and indecision figures in the other geographic areas (37% to 47% versus 35% to 42%) and all socio-economic classes (40% to 47% versus 43% to 45%).

Filipinos’ assessment of the trustworthiness of their leading government officials is generally constant between September and December 2016. At the national level, the only significant change is the 7-percentage point decrease in Vice-President Robredo’s trust rating while across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, the only marked movements are the increase in the trust score of House Speaker Alvarez in Metro Manila (+13 percentage points) and the decline in Vice-President Robredo’s trust figure in Class E (-16 percentage points). (Please refer to Table 5.)

The Congress and the Supreme Court receive majority approval ratings (51% to 58%) and trust scores (51% to 57%) in December 2016; there are hardly any significant changes in these government institutions’ performance and trust ratings between September and December 2016

Most Filipinos approve of and trust the Senate (58% and 57%, respectively), the House of Representatives (both at 51%), and the Supreme Court (55% and 53%, respectively). Levels of indecision as regards these institutions’ performance and trustworthiness vary from 31% to 36% and 34% to 40%, respectively. With regard to their disapproval and distrust ratings, these range from 11% to 13% and 9% to 11%, respectively. During the period September to December 2016, the only significant movements in the performance and trust ratings of these institutions are the drop in the level of overall ambivalence about the Supreme Court’s performance and trustworthiness (both at -7 percentage points). There are no marked changes across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings. (Please refer to Tables 7 to 10.)

Both the Senate and the Supreme Court obtain majority approval scores in all geographic areas (53% to 64% and 51% to 60%, respectively) and socio-economic classes (52% to 59% and 53% to 63%, respectively). Majority approval ratings are recorded by the House of Representatives in Metro Manila (51%), Mindanao (65%), and Class D (52%). Half of those in Class E (50%) are appreciative of the work done by the Lower House. In contrast, the latter posts nearly the same approval and indecision figures in the rest of Luzon (47% versus 36%), the Visayas (46% versus 42%), and Class ABC (48% versus 40%). (Please refer to Table 7.)

The Senate receives majority trust ratings from Metro Manilans (59%), Visayans (60%), Mindanaoans (65%), and those in Classes D and E (59% and 53%, respectively). Half of those in the rest of Luzon (50%) also trust the Senate while practically the same percentages of those belonging to Class ABC expresses either trust or indecision on the matter (48% versus 44%). In the case of the House of Representatives, it registers majority trust scores in Metro Manila (51%), Mindanao (64%), and Classes D and E (52% and 52%, respectively) while it has almost the same trust and indecision ratings in the rest of Luzon (45% versus 41%), the Visayas (47% versus 44%), and Class ABC (42% versus 50%). As for the Supreme Court, trust is the majority sentiment toward the High Court in Metro Manila (54%), the Visayas (55%), Mindanao (64%), and all socio-economic classes (51% to 59%). Almost the same trust and indecision ratings are recorded by the Supreme Court in the rest of Luzon (46% versus 40%). (Please refer to Table 9.)