More Filipinos satisfied with Duterte gov't in Q4 2019 – SWS

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More Filipinos said they are satisfied with how the Duterte administration works, with the government growing more popular among the poorest citizens, a December survey says.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 6) — More Filipinos said they are satisfied with how the Duterte administration works, with the government growing more popular among the poorest citizens, a December survey revealed.

Net satisfaction with the Duterte government rose to an "excellent" +73 rating, matching the record-high set in June 2019, pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) said Friday. The survey conducted from December 13-16, 2019 showed 81 percent of Filipinos satisfied and 7 percent dissatisfied with how the administration operates, while 12 percent were undecided. The rating is seven points higher than the +67 "very good" net score during the previous quarter.

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Those from the poorest communities rated the Duterte government the highest, racking up an "excellent" +74 rating among the class D and E. Meanwhile, those from the middle- to high-income brackets were less satisfied, with the net score dipping 10 points to a "very good" +68 by end-2019.

By location, the Duterte administration grew more popular across the country, with satisfaction ratings rising across the board. Those in urban areas rated the state at an "excellent" +73, while those in the provinces gave a higher score at +74. Those in the Visayas were the most satisfied, with a +80 net rating for the government.

Survey respondents rated President Rodrigo Duterte's regime "very good" in terms of helping the poor, with the net score rising two points to +64. The biggest improvements were noted in terms of fighting terrorism, reconciling with Muslim rebels, and developing a healthy economy, SWS said. Efforts to provide information to citizens on what the state is doing, impose clear policies, and protection of "the freedom of the press" were also given "very good" ratings.

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Duterte publicly ranted against ABS-CBN last year, even telling the Lopez family to just sell the network to keep it on air. Congress has not acted on bills renewing the station's franchise, which expires May 4.

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Meanwhile, the state was rated "good" in fighting crimes, reconciling with communist rebels, foreign relations, and defending the country's sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea. However, scores dipped in terms of the administration's strategies to remove graft and corruption, as well as in acting "according to what people want."

The lowest rating stood at a "moderate" +12 for fighting inflation. Prices of widely-used goods rose by 2.5 percent, well within target.

"Moderate" ratings were likewise given for the state's moves to ensure that no family will ever be hungry, as well as in recovering hidden wealth allegedly stolen by former President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies.

The Sandiganbayan forfeited some ₱2.95 billion in ill-gotten wealth from the shares of Marcos' associates in Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. in December. However, other cases filed against the late strongman's cronies have been junked by the anti-graft court for insufficient evidence last year.

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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters on Friday that the latest survey results confirm that the government has been transparent and decisive. He added that the administration is bent on providing an "atmosphere of peace and progress" despite criticisms.