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Pulse Asia Research, Inc. is pleased to share with you some findings on the Performance and Trust Ratings of the Top Philippine Government Officials from the September 2017 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 September 24 – 30, 2017 using face-to-face interviews.

The following are among the key developments that dominated the headlines in the days leading up to the survey period as well as during the conduct of the actual survey interviews:

1.    The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation into the shipment of illegal drugs worth P 6.4 billion that slipped through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) last May 2017 and the appearance of Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte and Atty. Manases Carpio before the committee on 07 September 2017 during which they denied any links to the reported drug smuggling and corruption occurring in the BOC;

2.    The refusal of former BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to attend several hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and his decision to turn himself in to the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms after Senator Richard Gordon cited him for contempt for being absent in previous hearings;

3.    The filing of an ethics complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV by Senator Gordon arising from the former’s unparliamentary acts and language as well as disorderly behavior during the 31 August 2017 on the said drug shipment;

4.    The filing of double murder charges against the Caloocan City policemen and taxi driver implicated in the killing of Karl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman and the sacking of virtually the entire Caloocan City police force in the aftermath of the killing of these teenagers and a break-in and robbery carried out by its members;

5.    The statement made by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa denying any state policy to kill drug suspects in the conduct of the administration’s “war on drugs”;

6.    The trip to Singapore by Senator Trillanes to dispute allegations made by President Duterte that he owns several accounts in foreign banks and the lawmaker’s challenge to the President for the latter to sign bank waivers to allow authorities to scrutinize his bank accounts to prove that he has no ill-gotten wealth;

7.    The threat made by President Duterte to create an independent commission to investigate corruption within the Office of the Ombudsman after the latter launched a fact-finding investigation into the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the President and his family;

8.    The commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on 21 September 2017, with various groups staging protest actions nationwide, as well as the observance of the 100th birthday of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, with his supporters holding a celebration in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB);

9.    The death of the so-called “most wanted drug lord” in Iloilo on 02 September 2017 during a shootout which ensued while the police was in the process of serving him a warrant of arrest and the cancellation of Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido’s transfer to Iloilo City from Ozamiz City;

10.    The call made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for the Catholic faithful to light candles and offer prayers for 40 days for the victims of the administration’s “war on drugs”;

11.    The suspected hazing death of a University of Santo Tomas (UST) law student in the hands of members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity and the joint hearing into the matter conducted by three (3) Senate Committees;

12.    The approval by the House of Representatives on third and final reading of the P 3.8 billion annual budget, with the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) being slashed by P 115 million;

13.    The confirmation by the military that Abdullah Maute, one of the leaders of the Maute group responsible for the continuing crisis in Marawi City, was killed during military operations in the area between 14 and 26 August 2017;

14.    The arrest of Puerto Princesa City Vice-Mayor Luis Marcaida on 04 September 2017 for possession of illegal drugs found in his residence during a raid conducted by the police and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA);

15.    The House Committee on Justice’s dismissal of the impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairperson Andres Bautista and the filing of an impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno;

16.    The rejection by the Commission on Appointments (CA) of the appointment of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano, the resignation of Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, and the removal of Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Chief Anna Rosario Paner;

17.    The denial by the Office of the Ombudsman of the motion for reconsideration filed by former President Benigno S. Aquino III in connection with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’s 13 June 2017 order to charge him for usurpation of authority and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act arising from his decision to allow former PNP Chief Alan Purisima, who was then under suspension, to lead Oplan Exodus in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015;

18.    The Sandiganbayan’s decisions to allow former Senator Jinggoy Estrada to post bail for plunder and 11 violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and to deny the motion for reconsideration filed by former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, Jr. in connection with the anomalous Makati City Hall parking building project;

19.    In international news, the testing of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea on 03 September 2017 and its firing of an intermediate-range ballistic missile on 15 September 2017; another terrorist attack in London which injured at least 30 individuals which was supposedly carried out by a “detachment” of the Islamic State (IS); the unresolved crisis in Myanmar which has seen the continued exodus of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh; the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit Mexico on 19 September 2017 which resulted in more than 270 deaths; the destruction and deaths in the Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and parts of the United States caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria; and

20.    In economic and financial news, the continued strong performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) when it nearly breached the 8,300 mark as it reached another record high on 18 September 2017, closing at 8,294 points and the announcement of an increase in the minimum wage in Metro Manila from P 481 to P 502 effective 05 October 2017.

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

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Most Filipinos continue to approve of and trust President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, and Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III; indecision is the plurality sentiment toward the performance and trustworthiness of House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno

Amidst the various issues being faced by his administration, President Rodrigo R. Duterte manages to retain his big majority approval and trust ratings (both at 80%). Also enjoying majority approval and trust scores, albeit lower ones, are Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo (57% and 55%, respectively) and Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III (55% and 52%, respectively). On the other hand, big pluralities to near majorities are ambivalent concerning the work and trustworthiness of House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez (47% and 49%, respectively) and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno (43% and 44%, respectively). Levels of disapproval for these officials’ quarterly performance range from 7% for President Duterte to 21% for Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno while their distrust ratings vary from 6% for the President to 23% for the Supreme Court Chief Justice. (Please refer to Tables 1 and 2.)

Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, President Duterte enjoys majority approval ratings (72% to 92% and 75% to 86%, respectively) and trust figures (72% to 93% and 74% to 85%, respectively). In the case of Vice-President Robredo, she obtains majority approval scores (54% to 70% and 57% to 62%, respectively) and trust ratings (52% to 67% and 53% to 65%, respectively) in practically all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings. The exceptions are the non-majority approval and trust figures recorded by the Vice-President in Metro Manila (49% and 47%, respectively) and the best-off Class ABC (48% and 45%, respectively). (Please refer to Tables 3 and 4.)

 Appreciation is the majority sentiment toward the work of Senate President Pimentel in most geographic areas (55% to 65%), with the exception of the rest of Luzon (50%), and in all socio-economic groupings (55% to 58%). The latter also registers majority trust ratings across areas and classes (51% to 55% and 52% to 58%, respectively), with Metro Manila and Class E being the exceptions (49% and 48%, respectively).

Ambivalence is the plurality opinion concerning the work of House Speaker Alvarez in the rest of Luzon, the Visayas, and Class D (48% to 50%) while nearly the same approval and indecision figures are recorded by the legislator in the other areas and classes (34% to 44% versus 43% to 46%). Similarly, indecision is the plurality sentiment toward the trustworthiness of the House Speaker in basically all geographic areas and every socio-economic class (47% to 50% and 47% to 49%, respectively). The exception is Mindanao, where essentially the same trust and indecision figures are obtained by House Speaker Alvarez (42% versus 46%).

In relation to her work, Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno receives plurality indecision ratings from those in the rest of Luzon and Class D (45% and 44%, respectively). About the same approval and indecision figures are recorded by the latter in the other geographic areas and socio-economic groupings (35% to 39% versus 37% to 45%). With respect to her trustworthiness, the Supreme Court Chief Justice posts plurality indecision scores in nearly all geographic areas and socio-economic classes (44% to 48% and 44%, respectively). The Visayas and Class ABC are the exceptions, as she recorded almost the same trust and indecision figures in these subgroupings (33% to 37% versus 39% to 47%).

While the performance and trust ratings of the President and the Vice-President are essentially unchanged between June and September 2017, the other top national government officials experience marked movements in their own ratings both at the national level and across geographic areas and socio-economic classes

During the period June to September 2017, the performance and trust ratings of President Duterte and Vice-President Robredo remain virtually constant. This observation holds true for the national ratings of both officials as well as those recorded in the different areas and classes. The only exception is the 13-percentage point drop in the trust rating of Vice-President Robredo in the rest of Luzon. (Please refer to Tables 5 and 6.)

 As for Senate President Pimentel, he experiences a 7-percentage point decline in his national approval score and a corresponding 7-percentage point increase in the overall level of ambivalence toward his quarterly performance. In terms of the latter’s trust ratings, they decrease in Mindanao and Class E (both at -14 percentage points). Meanwhile, levels of indecision toward the latter’s trustworthiness go up in the same subgroupings (+16 and +14 percentage points, respectively).

House Speaker Alvarez’s overall approval rating also goes down during this period (-10 percentage points), with similar movements occurring in the Visayas (-12 percentage points), Mindanao (-18 percentage points), and Class D (-10 percentage points). Indecision about the House Speaker’s performance becomes more pronounced at the national level (+9 percentage points) as well as in Mindanao and Class D (+14 and +10 percentage points, respectively). With respect to the latter’s trust ratings, they decline in the Philippines as a whole (-10 percentage points) and in Mindanao in particular (-15 percentage points). Levels of ambivalence toward the House Speaker’s trustworthiness rise at the national level (+8 percentage points) and in Mindanao (+15 percentage points).

Approval for the work done by Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno eases in the country as a whole (-13 percentage points) and in the rest of Luzon (-16 percentage points), Mindanao (-18 percentage points), and Class D (-14 percentage points). This decline in approval translates to an increase in the Supreme Court Chief Justice’s overall indecision and disapproval scores (both at +8 percentage points). Ambivalence also becomes more manifest in Class D (+10 percentage points). Trust in the latter also eases not only at the national level (-12 percentage points) but also in the rest of Luzon (-15 percentage points), Mindanao (-19 percentage points), and Class D (-13 percentage points). Likewise, the overall distrust rating of Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno increases during this period (+8 percentage points) while her indecision rating also goes up in Mindanao (+12 percentage points).