By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
The approval rating of Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. dropped by 15 points in September compared to the previous quarter due to rising food costs.
In the most recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia Research, Inc., the President received a 65% approval rating and a decrease of 14 points in his trust rating, which now stands at 71%.
According to a statement released on Monday by the pollster, the leader’s popularity decreased in all areas and among all societal groups. In Luzon, including Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao, the drop was 14 to 15 points, while across all classes it was also 14 to 15 points.
“According to the statement, the President and Vice-President’s overall approval ratings remain high among the majority of the nation and in various regions and social classes. However, both saw a notable decline in their approval ratings from June to September 2023.”
According to Pulse Asia, the approval rating of Vice-President Sara Duterte-Carpio has decreased by 11 points to 73. This decline was observed across all regions, ranging from 5 to 13 points, and across all socioeconomic classes, with a range of 8 to 18 points. Additionally, her trust rating has also decreased by 12 points to 75.
The approval ratings for the Senate and House of Representatives each dropped by 3 and 4 points respectively. Similarly, the Supreme Court’s approval rating also decreased by 4 points, now standing at 49.
Gary Ador Dionisio, the dean of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde’s School of Diplomacy and Governance, stated that our current leaders have not adequately addressed the pressing needs and worries of our citizens, particularly in terms of addressing the increasing prices of food, specifically rice, which greatly affects Filipinos.
The ratings reflect a noticeable issue with governance, according to the speaker. They also suggest a lack of clear policy regarding agriculture in the midst of a worldwide food crisis, as well as a Department of Agriculture Secretary who is absent from their duties.
In the 2022 race for presidency, Mr. Marcos, who did not take part in significant debates, promised to lower the cost of rice to P20 per kilo.
After over a year, the cost of commodities has increased, with the inflation rate for rice jumping to 8.7% in August from 4.2% the previous month.
In September, the President released a decree capping the cost of regular milled rice at P41 per kilo and P45 for well-milled rice, in response to reports of smuggling and hoarding.
According to Mr. Marcos, the nation’s rice supply is sufficient and he attributes the rising prices to economic saboteurs.
Lily G. Terrenio, a former overseas Filipino worker and self-proclaimed Marcos loyalist, expressed her disappointment over the rise in prices of essential goods such as rice. Despite this, she maintains her faith in him.
In addition, she supported Ms. Carpio, who is currently being investigated for her office’s use of P125 million in confidential and intelligence funds within a span of two weeks last year.
“According to Mr. Dionisio, Vice-President Sara’s initiatives were unsuccessful in gaining significance and relevance among Filipinos, despite receiving a large budget. He stated that the Office of the Vice President has been unable to offer creative and cooperative projects to increase its relevance at this time.”
According to Hansley A. Juliano, a researcher in political economy at Nagoya University in Japan, the decline in ratings can be attributed to the ongoing controversies surrounding Marcos’ economic policies and Carpio’s issues with funding and red-tagging. This trend has been observed over the past two quarters.
“It’s noteworthy how their popularity was affected in this manner.”
According to Mr. Juliano, their ratings staying above 50% indicates that they continue to have the support of the general public.
The local government officials are still showing support for Malacañang, which is in line with our system of patronage. The use of confidential funds also contributes to this mechanism.
According to Pulse Asia’s President Ronald Holmes, it is significant that the President’s approval rating has dropped by a significant amount during the second year of their six-year term.
According to Mr. Holmes, previous Philippine presidents, specifically the deceased Benigno S.C. Aquino III and current leader Rodrigo R. Duterte, did not see a major decrease in their approval ratings during their second year in office.
He stated in Filipino that occurrences such as economic downturns and inflation typically impact the views of the public.
In June, a distinct survey conducted by Pulse Asia revealed that the majority of Filipinos were primarily worried about inflation, followed by wages (44%), employment opportunities (31%), poverty (30%), and corruption (25%).
According to Arjan P. Aguirre, a political science professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, the decline indicates that certain Filipinos are unhappy with the government’s handling of increasing costs.
Additionally, he mentioned the public’s dissatisfaction with the allocation of confidential funds requested by Ms. Carpio. She has asked for P450 million and P150 million in secret funds for the Office of the Vice President and the Education department, both of which she leads, for the upcoming year.
According to Jan Robert Go, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, the promises made during the elections were unrealistic and sounded good at the time. However, now that more than a year has passed since his presidency began, those promises have not been fulfilled and the situation has actually deteriorated. This was discussed in a Messenger chat with Norman P. Aquino.