By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
President Duterte shrugged off the third quarter Social Weather Station (SWS) survey which showed a record dip in his satisfaction and trust ratings since he assumed office 13 months ago.
The survey result showed that Duterte’s satisfaction and trust ratings dropped from 78 percent and 82 percent in June, respectively, to 67 percent and 73 percent, respectively in September.
Interviewed over PTV-4, Duterte said he doesn’t care about any ratings anymore as all he wants to do now is to deliver on his promises to the public.
“It does not really matter to me kasi lahat ng ginagawa ko (because everything I am doing now), those were exactly the words I used during the campaign,” Duterte said in the interview taped Thursday night, and aired Friday night.
“I have to honor my promise because that it is my covenant to the people,” he added.
According to Duterte, he doesn’t really care about the ratings anymore because it is now past the election period and that the 16 million votes he got is the only figure that matters to him.
Duterte asked for understanding from the people who don’t like his style in governance. But he said it is either the people will get used to him, or not.
“Kung hindi niyo nagustuhan ang mga ginagawa ko, pasensya na po (If you don’t like the things I do, then I ask for your understanding),” he said.
“Ngayon, ‘pag dumating ang panahon na hindi niyo kayang lunukin ang mga sinabi ko, problema niyo na ‘yun (Now if you can’t fathom the words I say, then that is already your problem),” he added.
While he does not cared about the result dip in his satisfaction and trust ratings, Duterte said this will not stop him from performing his duties.
“Ngayon ‘yung ratings, kahit mag-zero, magtrabaho ako. Hindi ako ‘yung ‘pag sinabing maging unpopular…– Hindi ka lalaki niyan (Even if my ratings drop to zero, I will still work. I’m not the kind of person who will stop working if I become unpopular. I’m not a man if I stop),” he said.
“Hindi ako nasaktan dito sa satisfaction-satisfaction (I am not hurt or offended by these kinds of ratings). For all I care,” he added.
Malacañang had earlier explained that the dip in the ratings is expected as the one-year honeymoon period is now over and the public is now managing their expectations.
“These things usually happen, this is traditionally happening, a year or a year-and-a-half. But the love is still there,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella earlier said.
The Palace official said that the dip poses as a challenge to the government to deliver the “full spectrum” of public services.
“We need to also appreciate the fact that majority of the people still have trust and confidence [on the President]. Bearing that in mind, I’m sure the President and his administration will be able to deliver on the dream,” Abella said.
The SWS survey contradicts the result of the nationwide survey of Pulse Asia which showed that Duterte’s satisfaction and trust ratings are both at 80 percent.
Vice President Leni Robredo, for her part, thinks one reason for the rise of her public satisfaction rating was Angat Buhay, her anti-poverty program.
Robredo, who campaigns for those in the fringes of society or laylayan, is elated over the results of the latest SWS survey that saw her approval rating obtaining +41 last month.
Her net satisfaction rating went up by five points from +36 she received in June.
“Yes of course, I’m happy with the rise,” Robredo told reporters at St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City when asked to comment on the SWS survey.
“This means the people feels what we are doing. It wants to say that people accepts the good things that we are doing despite the very limited resources of our offices,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Overcoming the odds
Malacañang, meanwhile, welcomed the result of the Pulse Asia survey showing that Duterte remains the most trusted government official in the country despite the “multifaceted” political noise.
“The survey [was] conducted last September 24 to 30 at the height of the demolition job against the President, even implicating some members of the President’s family,” Abella said Friday.
Abella was referring to the allegations that Duterte had at least P1 billion in his bank account.
“We hope these survey results would inspire us in the government that, despite the odds and challenges, we should never get exhausted or feel complacent in providing a comfortable life for all Filipinos in an environment free from illegal drugs and criminality,” he added.
“This is the only way we can return the overwhelming confidence and trust bestowed by our people on the President,” he continued.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said three values have kept President Duterte on top of the surveys.
“Nothing can beat sincerity, humility, and effective governance insofar as the people’s perception is concerned,” said Aguirre.
“The people could see through lies, perversions of truth, and outright deceptions,” Aguirre pointed out. (With a report from Jeffrey G. Damicog)