Social Climate

Ratings of the House and the Senate

/ 05:02 AM August 04, 2018

Of the four top institutions of the government, only the House of Representatives was downgraded in public satisfaction in the last survey—see “Second Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey: Net satisfaction ratings ‘Good’ for the Senate; ‘Moderate’ for the House of Representatives, Supreme Court, and the Cabinet,” www.sws.org.ph, posted 7/29/18.  (Bear in mind that the survey was on June 27-30, a month before Pantaleon Alvarez was ousted as Speaker of the House.)

To me, an Excellent (+70 and up) rating is a gold medal, a Very Good (+50 to +69) is a silver, and a Good (+30 to +49) is a bronze. A honeymoon is a continuous period of getting medals. A Moderate (+10 to +29) is not worthy of a medal, but is passable.


A Neutral (single-digit, regardless of sign) is a conditional grade, neither passing nor failing. A double-digit negative is a definite failure, but hasn’t happened so far to the legislature; its worst-ever grade was the House’s net -9 in May 2005.

Medals used to be few. Neither house rated a medal in eight  surveys of Cory Aquino’s time. The Senate rating was higher 4  times; the House was higher the other 4 times. Afterward, in the quarterly surveys since Fidel Ramos’ time, the Senate always rated higher than the House (except once, in 1993).


The Senate got 4 Goods (1992, 2  in 1993, and 1997) in 24 surveys under Fidel Ramos, 2 Goods (1998 and 1999) in 15 surveys under Joseph Estrada, and 3 Goods (2007 and 2 in 2009) in 31 surveys under Gloria Arroyo.

The lower House had only 1 Good (1993) in Ramos’ time. It had no medals at all in the times of Cory Aquino, Estrada and Arroyo.

Satisfaction with the legislature improved radically after mid-2010. Then, under Noynoy Aquino, the Senate had a 3-1/2 year-honeymoon, and the House had a 5 quarter-honeymoon.

In 24 SWS surveys of Noynoy’s time, the Senate got 6 Very Goods (with all-time high +67 in August 2012), 14 Goods and 4 Moderates. The House got 11 Goods (topped by +42 in August 2012) and 13 Moderates.  In all, the Senate got 20 medals, and the House got 11, out of a maximum possible 24.

In the eight SWS surveys so far under Rodrigo Duterte, the Senate’s 3 Very Goods and 5 Goods are exactly the same as its medals in the first eight quarters under Noynoy. Its best rating so far is +56, in December 2017.

The House’s 7 Goods and 1 Moderate under Duterte are also what it got in the first eight quarters under Noynoy. But its peak of +43 in December 2017 is the all-time high in survey history.

Ratings of institutions and officials are related. A standard survey interview has very many questions, and no time to ask for respondents to explain their answers.  One way to understand the answers is by relating them to each other.


The net rating of the House in June 2018 was +55 among people pleased with Speaker Alvarez, but only +8 among those displeased with him. The House got +34 from those pro-Duterte, but only +5 from those anti-Duterte.

The net rating of the Senate in June 2018 was +50 among those pleased with Senate President Tito Sotto, but only +16 among those displeased with him. It was +47 among the pro-Duterte and +32 among the anti-Duterte.

Let us note that Alvarez’s rating was down to +1 in March, and hardly changed to +8 in June.  Duterte’s rating was +56 in March, and dropped to +45 in June. Sotto’s rating was +54 in June, after Koko Pimentel’s +41 in March.

Contact [email protected] I thank Joanne Evangelista of SWS for special tabulations used here.


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TAGS: House, public satisfaction, Senate, survey
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