MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Public trust in President Rodrigo Duterte dipped in the first quarter of the year, according to the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Thursday, April 26.
The First Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey held from March 23 to 27 showed a 10-point drop in net trust in Duterte – downgraded to a "very good" +65 from an "excellent" + 75 in December 2017.
The SWS said that 76% of Filipinos have much trust in the President, 10% have little trust in him, while 14% are undecided, for a net rating of +65.
This is the second lowest net trust rating of Duterte since he assumed the presidency, after his +60 rating in September 2017. His highest trust rating, so far, was an "excellent" +79 in June 2016, days before his inauguration as Philippine chief.
The net trust rating of Duterte decreased in all geographical areas, but remained excellent in the Visayas (+70 from +76) and in Mindanao (+89 from +94).
The erosion of trust in the President was most notable in Metro Manila, where his net rating fell one grade lower to a "very good" +65 from an "excellent" +77 in December 2017.
In the Balance of Luzon, Duterte's net rating dipped to +53 from +56, both deemed as "very good."
The SWS terminology for net trust ratings are the following: +70 and above, "excellent"; +50 to +69, "very good"; +30 to +49, "good"; +10 to +29, "moderate", +9 to -9, "neutral"; -10 to -29, "poor"; -30 to -49, "bad"; -50 to -69, "very bad"; -70 and below, "execrable."
SWS said it considers the movement from one classification to another as either an "upgrade" or "downgrade."
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque welcomed the SWS survey showing a +65 net trust rating for Duterte.
While saying nothing about the 10-point decline, Roque pointed out that Duterte's trust ratings "remain 'excellent' in Visayas and Mindanao, known bailiwicks of the Chief Executive, while 'very good' in Balance Luzon and Metro Manila."
"We are thus grateful for our people's vote of confidence with significant trust in the President, amid being subject to unending criticisms and attacks," Roque said.
"Rest assured that the President will continue to steer the ship of State until we reach a drug-free destination where the country's macroeconomic fundamentals would be strong and resilient so Filipinos could lead comfortable lives," he added.
The SWS survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, with sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. – With a report from Paterno Esmaquel III/Rappler.com