Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Reading and Discerning the Numbers

There are two noted and credible pollsters in the Philippines: Pulse Asia and the SWS. Over the years, these two have correctly surveyed and reflected the Approval, Trust, and Satisfaction ratings of top public officials as well as sentiments on certain issues involving them.

On March 1-7, 2015, weeks after the Mamasapano incident, Pulse Asia surveyed the Approval and Trust ratings of President Benigno Aquino III by a reliable sampling of the Filipino people. The results indicated Approval, Undecided, and Disapproval ratings of 38%, 39%, and 23% respectively. The same survey also resulted in Trust, Undecided and Distrust ratings of 36%, 37%, and 27%, respectively.

On March 20-23, 2015, which was two weeks later, SWS also conducted a survey to determine the Public Satisfaction ratings of President Benigno Aquino III. It resulted in Satisfaction, Undecided, and Dissatisfied ratings of 47%, 17%, and 36% respectively. What is more known and published is a Net Satisfaction rating of +11%, which SWS describes as “moderate”.

Indeed, the surveys reflected the lowest ratings that President Aquino obtained during his entire tenure compared to his previous ones.

For a country where its people look at their President with awesome powers and therefore indestructible, a substantial portion of the public were disappointed at the Mamasapano turn of events.

Looking and discerning at the numbers with some historical perspective, I still feel that this is not something to view with despair. The lowest Net Satisfaction rating that President Cory Aquino obtained during her term was +7%. Yet, her endorsement of Fidel Ramos made him President. She is also beloved by the Filipinos and democratic lovers worldwide until today.

The lowest rating of President Fidel Ramos during his term was +1% in October 1995. But he recovered and obtained a rating of +50% in April 1997. President Erap Estrada had a lowest rating of +5% but recovered to improve to +19% before getting ousted. President Gloria Arroyo’s lowest ever during her term was in March 2010 when she obtained a -53%. She never got the chance to recover! The moment she started using Marcos as her model rather than her own father, Diosdado Macapagal, she was doomed to fail.

I have no doubt that President Aquino will recover. He has more than year to do so. He still possesses awesome powers with his party controlling the legislative and executive machineries. He can show a Presidential command of all the government resources in guiding the destiny of the nation and the Filipino people.

In fact, the numbers and the signs are there. In the same surveys, more than 2/3 of the Filipinos do not want him to resign despite the so-called clamor of the naysayers and his political enemies. While Pulse Asia’s poll says he has an Approval rating of 38% during the first week of March, SWS’ polling says President Aquino has a Satisfaction rating of 47% during the third week of March. This is a substantial improvement in just two weeks. Let the numbers speak for themselves!
Furthermore, the Pulse Asia survey also states a rating of 39% for the Undecided. It means they are in doubt, and are giving President Aquino III the benefit of the doubt. Adding the 39% to the 38% Approval rating would make it 77%.

This is true in the case of the SWS survey as well. The rating for the Undecided is 17%. Adding it to the 47% Satisfaction rating would make it 64%.

These explain the people’s rejection of the proposal for the President to resign. They want to give him a chance to recover for their own benefit. They never had a President as honest as Cory before.

The people want him to stay the course. The shortest distance to peace, justice and prosperity is still the Straight Path (Tuwid na Daan). His GPS (Government Prosecution of the Sleazy) must continue with renewed speed and without obstruction.

You are either a pessimist or an optimist in these challenging times. As Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Having an honest President is an opportunity in a lifetime for the Filipino nation.

PNoy may not be indestructible but he is definitely INCORRUPTIBLE!

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