Despite the brickbats, his rating is ‘excellent’

By John Carlo Tria

So says the latest Social Weather Station Survey. Taken from their press release, the group said that the “Fourth Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey, conducted from December 13-16, 2019, found 82% of adult Filipinos satisfied, 8% undecided, and 10% dissatisfied with the performance of Rodrigo R. Duterte as President.

Compared to September 2019, gross satisfaction with Pres. Duterte rose by 4 points from 78%, gross undecided fell by 1 point from 9%, and gross dissatisfaction fell by 3 points from 13%.” (

Straight to the point as is their usual tone, they take us deep into the Filipino psyche as it regards the President. Doubtless, their surveys have done much to rate performance and perception.

Taking it further, the backdrop of key issues burning at that time were the Manila Water Maynilad contracts, the removal of Vice President Leni Robredo as drug czar in the weeks prior and the supposed report which she gave all of us an early pre Christmas taste of.

Likewise, the Mindanao earthquakes kept rumbling, and did so on December 15, and the low inflation for three straight months owing to low rice prices in the markets. Lower poverty levels were also announced.

The high satisfaction ratings therefore serve as a stamp of approval for adminstration efforts and programs.

Expectedly, the opposition hammered away at the government using alleged findings in the drug war at that time. Some mainstream media reports and opinions even made it appear that the government was on the ropes against Robredo being more “aggressive”, in taking on government. International pressure was brought to bear upon government yet again for the supposed abuses against drug suspects.

Yet the outcome as it came out saw a rise in the President’s net satisfaction ratings.

These latest results reveal a trend of consistent surveys show a net satisfaction rating that is consistently higher than previous presidents.

Key questions raised are now thrown at the opposition and their support base. Were the issues being brought by the opposition resonating with the public? Are their strong voices being ignored?

Is the opposition actually scoring points as some of them believe, or are they digging a deeper grave for themselves?

Note how in the 2019 elections they failed to land a Senate seat and garnered few victories, their agendas bared out in full force as they dominated the discussion and the airwaves with their presence. Their actual sorties, sadly, looked like Barangay town hall meetings. Blaming or insulting voters for not choosing their candidates will not help.

I will leave you, dear readers, to reflect, and judge.