‘Unappreciated’ GMA scores -32%

Published by rudy Date posted on March 17, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – More than half of Filipinos are dissatisfied with the performance of Mrs. Arroyo, giving her a “bad” net satisfaction rating of negative 32 percent, according to the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations Inc. (SWS).

Malacañang lamented that President Arroyo was widely unappreciated by the public despite her efforts to keep the economy afloat amid the ongoing global financial crisis.

The non-commissioned survey, fielded over Feb. 20 to 23, found 26 percent satisfied and 59 percent dissatisfied with Mrs. Arroyo’s performance, for a net rating of -32.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo argued that the President has worked hard to insulate the country from the impact of the global financial crisis but continues to perform poorly in the surveys.

“We are saddened by that. It is sad to note that this is not improving. It is sad that the accomplishments of President Arroyo are not being recognized,” Fajardo said.

The President’s latest net satisfaction rating is lower compared to “poor” -24 percent (29 percent satisfied, 53 percent dissatisfied) in December and poor -27 (27 percent satisfied, 54 percent dissatisfied) in September.

Mrs. Arroyo’s net satisfaction rating hit a record low of net -50 in July 2008.

The SWS describes net ratings of +50 and above as “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”; +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; and -50 and lower as “very bad.”

The net satisfaction rating is the difference between the percentage of satisfied and unsatisfied responses.

“If not for the good leadership of the President, the impact of the global crisis on the country would have been worse,” Fajardo said.

She said that Mrs. Arroyo remained unperturbed by her poor performance in the surveys and continues to focus on her work to move the country forward.

The President has said on several occasions that she would not be affected by popularity ratings and would just focus on implementing her programs regardless of how unpopular some of these are.

Fajardo said that the survey results also serve as a challenge to all of the officials in government to work even harder to make the people feel the results of the programs that are being implemented.

“We have to triple our efforts of informing the public about what we are doing, especially in fighting corruption and the programs of the government on how their lives would be better,” she said.

“But what’s important is the public benefits from her programs. If it still means she will not be popular then the bottom line for her is that she sees that her programs are working,” she added.

Fajardo called on the critics of the President to show some respect for the presidency, which she lamented is constantly being attacked on various issues.

“We have to be careful on always criticizing the President, especially sometimes we might be forgetting to respect the position and the institution,” she said.

SWS explained that the decline in the President’s overall satisfaction rating was due to the worsening dissatisfaction in the Visayas and Mindanao.

It said net satisfaction with Mrs. Arroyo became more negative in the Visayas, at bad -33 (28 percent satisfied, 61 percent dissatisfied) in February, from poor -14 (38 percent satisfied, 52 percent dissatisfied) last December.

Dissatisfaction with the President worsened in Mindanao at bad -40 (22 percent satisfied, 62 percent dissatisfied) now, from poor -22 (31 percent satisfied, 53 percent dissatisfied) previously, the SWS said.

It remained high in Metro Manila, at bad net -44 (21 percent satisfied, 65 percent dissatisfied) in February, from bad -45 (19 percent satisfied, 65 percent dissatisfied) in December, and in balance Luzon, at poor -24 (29 percent satisfied, 54 percent dissatisfied, correctly rounded), from poor -23 (27 percent satisfied, 50 percent dissatisfied).

Urban satisfaction with Mrs. Arroyo went to 26 percent in February, from 27 percent in December, while dissatisfaction went to 58 percent from 56 percent, putting her urban net rating to bad net -32 now, from poor -29 earlier.

Rural satisfaction with the President went to 26 percent from 31 percent, while dissatisfaction went to 59 percent from 50 percent, bringing her rural net rating to bad -33 from poor -19.

Meanwhile, the SWS said Mrs. Arroyo’s net satisfaction rating became less negative in class ABC, at poor net -19 (27 percent satisfied, 46 percent dissatisfied) in February, from poor -28 (28 percent satisfied, 56 percent dissatisfied) in December.

However, dissatisfaction with her worsened in class D or the “masa,” at bad -31 (28 percent satisfied, 59 percent dissatisfied) now, from poor -21 (30 percent satisfied, 51 percent dissatisfied) before.

It went to bad -42 (20 percent satisfied, 61 percent dissatisfied) in class E, from bad -31 (27 percent satisfied, 58 percent dissatisfied) before.

The First Quarter of 2009 Social Weather Survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults divided into random samples of 300 each in Metro Manila, the balance of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The survey has sampling error margins of plus or minus three percent for national percentages and plus or minus six percent for area percentages. –Marvin Sy with Helen Flores, Philippine Star

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