(Photo Courtesy: https://www.pna.gov.ph/)

President Rodrigo Duterte emerged as the most appreciated among the top government officials as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In its Ulat ng Bayan survey conducted from Sept. 14 to 20, Pulse Asia said Duterte’s awareness and performance ratings hit 91 percent despite criticisms his government got from the opposition on its Covid-19 response.

Vice President and opposition leader Leonora Robredo, on the other hand, got the lowest performance rating among the country’s top four government officials.

Robredo received 57 percent behind Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who got 84 and 70 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Pulse Asia said Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta failed to obtain a majority approval score after earning only 44 percent as “Filipinos are most ambivalent” about the work of the higher court. It added 37 percent of the 1,200 adult respondents replied “undecided” on the chief justice’s performance.

The survey found that Duterte’s 91 percent “small to huge majority approval rating” is 4 percentage points higher compared to December 2019 survey.

The President enjoyed majority approval ratings across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, rising from 88 to 97 percent and 88 to 95 percent, respectively.

Duterte also enjoyed “sizeable to big majority trust rating” of 91 percent, a huge improvement from 83 percent he got from December’s Ulat ng Bayan of Pulse Asia.

Pulse Asia said Duterte’s trust becomes notable between December 2019 and September 2020 not only at national level (+8 percentage points) but also in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon where he earned +12 and +14 percentage points, respectively.

Despite being compared to New Zealand’s popular Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, Robredo’s approval rating dropped by 1 percentage point from 58 percent and her trust rating from 53 to 50 percent.

Sotto’s approval rating remained unchanged at 84 percent while his trust rating improved from 78 to 79 percent while Cayetano’s approval and trust ratings suffered huge decline from 80 to 70 percent and 76 to 67 percent, respectively.

According to the survey, most Filipinos also approved the work of the Senate (71 percent), the House of Representatives (61 percent) and the Supreme Court (61 percent) in the previous quarter.

“The performance ratings of the Congress and the Supreme Court are nearly constant during the period December 2019 to September 2020 both at the national level and across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings,” it added.

Pulse Asia listed the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) issue, the government’s ongoing response against Covid-19 since it imposed community quarantine restrictions in March, and the Manila Bay’s beach nourishment as among the key developments that dominated the news headlines when it conducted the survey.

The survey has a ± 2.8 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level. 

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