P-Noy’s bosses sending signal
This refers to the item titled “Fuel price increases pull Aquino down”
(Inquirer, 4/3/12), which stated that “Sharp increases in fuel prices that inevitably push up the cost of living may have pulled down public satisfaction with the performance of President Aquino from ‘very good’ to ‘good,’ a lawmaker and a labor leader said Monday.” I would like to contribute to the ongoing debate on the matter, with the Social Weather Stations (SWS) surveys as one of my references.
1. In 2011, the net satisfaction rating of President Aquino consistently increased from 46 percent in June to 56 percent in September and 58 percent in December, while the rate of total hunger as an important economic factor was on a generally increasing trend from 15.1 percent in June to 31.1 percent in September and 22.5 percent in December. In spite of the increase in total hunger, his rating improved.
2. President Aquino’s net satisfaction rating decreased from 58 percent in December 2011 to 49 percent in March 2012, showing a 9-percent decline; while the inflation rate as another important economic factor significantly decreased (based on the National Statistical Coordination Board data) from 4.2 percent in December 2011 to 2.7 percent in February, and 2.6 percent in March 2012, even though there occurred an increase in the prices of fuel in the last two months. In spite of these facts, the President’s rating declined.
Therefore, it could be the political factors related to the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona that could have contributed much to the pull-down of President Aquino’s rating. Please take note that the March 10-13, 2012 SWS national survey indicated that 73 percent of the people prefer a guilty verdict on Corona. But since the latter’s fate is in the hands of the Senate, the people can only express their observations and feelings. That being so, out of those who are for a guilty verdict, 52 percent say that the pace of the impeachment trial is too slow, 49 percent are unsure of their trust in the Senate to make a fair decision, and 69 percent will accept the Senate decision, whether acquittal or conviction. Given this political predicament, the “bosses” seem to have sent out the signal commanding President Aquino and his executive branch, which carry out most of government’s nation-building tasks, to exert a lot more effort to convince the Senate to participate productively in the campaign against corruption—the cause and effect of poverty and underdevelopment—which is again on the rise as shown by the country’s score of 2.6 in 2011 on the corruption perception index of Transparency International, up from the 2.4 it got in 2010.
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