More Pinoys unhappy about PNoy's anti-corruption campaign
MANILA - More Filipinos have become critical of the Aquino administration's anti corruption campaign, a new survey said.
A September 2013 Pulse Asia survey reported that amid the pork barrel funds controversy, appreciation for the Aquino administration's anti- corruption initiatives decreased between March and September 2013 by 12 percentage points while criticism went up by 16 percentage points.
The government's anti-corruption stance was only one of 5 issues covered by the survey.
The other issues also showed increase in public criticism of the administration's performance.
This, even if recent surveys showed that the administration's top officials remain popular.
The survey noted that levels of disapproval for the work done by the national administration on employment increased by 7 percentage points, low pay of workers up by 7 percentage points, rapid population growth up 7 percentage points, inflation up 7 percentage points, and peace up 12 percentage points.
Pulse Asia said that while the interviews for the survey were being conducted, the Zamboanga City siege by an armed faction of the Moro National Liberal Front (MNLF) was unfolding.
At the same time, the Aquino administration got majority approval ratings on only two of 10 national issues.
It was only on the issues of criminality and rule of law that the current administration obtained majority approval scores (60% and 54%, respectively). These issues were deemed urgent by 17% to 18% of Filipinos, the survey said.
Meanwhile, approval is the plurality sentiment toward the work done by the Aquino administration on the issues of low workers' pay (43%), employment (45%), peace (46%), corruption(47%), and environment (50%).
Almost the same approval and indecision ratings are obtained by the national administration on the issues of population growth (41% versus 39%) and poverty (39% versus 34%) while public opinion regarding its efforts to control inflation is split (34% approval, 34% indecision, and 32% disapproval).
The same survey showed that Filipinos are most concerned about corruption, inflation, low pay of workers, and employment.
In September 2013, the most often cited urgent national concerns among Filipinos are fighting corruption in government (48%), controlling inflation (48%), increasing the pay of workers (46%), and creating more jobs (42%).
Meanwhile, 32% of Filipinos cited poverty as a national concern that requires the immediate attention of the Aquino administration.
Four issues made up a third cluster of concerns deemed urgent by Filipinos – peace (22%), rule of law (18%), criminality (17%), and environmental degradation (15%). Filipinos were least concerned about rapid population growth (11%).
Filipinos' level of concern regarding corruption in government and peace in the country increased between June and September 2013 (+17 and +7 percentage points, respectively). On the other hand, public concern about inflation eases during this period (-13 percentage points).
Sought for his comment, ACT Teachers' party-list Antonio Tinio said, "The Aquino administration can only run on popularity for so long. Reality will now, slowly but surely, start to overtake the high popularity ratings."
"The public is keenly aware of the areas in which PNoy has failed to deliver, notably on the issues of anti-corruption, peace, employment and wages. In particular, the statistically significant declines in approval ratings on anti-corruption and peace should be noted," he said.
Tinio attributed this to "the rearguard and defensive stand of PNoy on the demand for the abolition of congressional and Presidential pork, and the outbreak of war in Zamboanga due to a flawed peace strategy in Mindanao."
Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez isn't surprised by the survey's results. He said the investigation on the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam has been "selective in scope, focusing only on opposition lawmakers and during the period of GMA."
Meanwhile, House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said the administration may have a "messaging problem."
"Obviously, the administration is not effectively delivering its message, in the face of the PDAF obfuscation. I don't see how the administration should be faulted for rapid population growth, continuing low inflation or its peace efforts," he said. "However, performance on job creation or wage improvement need to be better addressed."