Social Climate

It’s not about you

/ 05:08 AM January 05, 2019

A year ends, another one begins.  Reporting of the collective views of the Filipino people enters a new cycle, based on the Fourth Quarter Social Weather Survey, done on Dec. 16-19, 2018. It started with the satisfaction rating of the President, on 12/28/18, and will proceed to many other topics over the coming months.

Our role as social surveyors in a democratic setting is to report on the people’s collective feelings, as expressed by a sample of them, on various subjects. It is not to tell you your own feelings, dear reader. You know how you feel. This is not about you, but about the people, in the hope that their views, as a collective, are of interest to you, whether or not you personally agree with them.


The last SWS sample consisted of 1,440 adults, drawn by a scientific random process. It was equally divided across the areas of National Capital Region, the Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in order to make the area-figures equally accurate. The area-data were then weighted by their populations to produce the national figures.

An SWS sample is freshly drawn every quarter, from fresh barangays, fresh households and fresh individual adults. It is not a panel. A panel means a group of persons repeatedly interviewed across points in time.


Now that the four quarterly SWS surveys of 2018 have been done, the average net satisfaction with President Duterte for the full year is seen at +54. It follows the average +59 for the full year 2017, and average +64 for the second half of 2016.

For comparison, the average quarterly rating of President Benigno S. Aquino III was +53 in 2012, also +53 in 2011, and +63 in the second half of 2010.  Numbers-wise, the Duterte and Aquino honeymoons look the same.

Both the quarterly ratings and the annual averages are in the tables of the SWS report. The averages will be convenient to present—along with many other topics—at the forthcoming SWS 2019 Annual Survey Review, on 2/01/2019, at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City. (Open to the public; contact Tristan A. Canare <[email protected]>.)

A regular quarterly Social Weather Survey involves an hour or more of personal interview time, face to face, in the respondent’s dwelling. We are always very grateful for the respondents’ cooperation. Their only real reward is the knowledge of having personally contributed their bit to public discourse.

Many are astounded at their luck in being chosen to participate in an SWS survey. Their identities are strictly confidential. Survey researchers have the duty to ensure that their participation carries no risk of harm to them (see https://wapor.org/about-wapor/code-of-ethics/ for the Code of Ethics of the World Association for Public Opinion Research).

The survey interview is mainly devoted to items decided by SWS on its own account, for publication at its discretion. Transmitting survey findings to the general public is part of our mission. We thank media companies for passing on our findings to the public, yet emphasize that we work with, not for, media. It is certainly unethical, as well as arguably illegal, for media to report survey findings without proper authority.

Part of an interview is made available for items commissioned by sponsors. Findings on commissioned items may be embargoed from publication for a limited period; there are no permanent embargoes. The SWS Survey Archive now has over 600 datasets collected since 1986, involving well over 900,000 interviews and 100,000 survey questions. It is a permanent resource for social scientists of the future.



Contact [email protected]

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TAGS: column, fourth quarter, NCR, opinion, survey, SWS
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