President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has maintained high approval and trust scores despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic for over a year now, according to the latest survey by a political consultancy firm.

PUBLiCUS Asia Inc., in its July 13 to 19 poll, found that 58 percent of 1,500 Filipino respondents approve Duterte’s work performance, while 55 percent continue to trust the Chief Executive.

The pollster conducted an independent and non-commissioned survey.

Duterte’s approval and trust ratings, however, declined from 65 percent and 55 percent, respectively.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte got an overall approval rating of 58 percent, down from Pahayag Q1 (first quarter) result of 65 percent. While his trust rating also slid down to 50 percent from Q1 result of 55 percent,” PUBLiCUS said.

Despite this, Duterte still emerged as the most approved and trusted government official, the survey found.

Not a lame duck

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, in an interview with PTV-4’s Rise and Shine Pilipinas, said Duterte’s high approval and trust ratings signify that Duterte has never become a “lame duck.”

“Sa bansa natin, nasanay tayo na kapag ang Pangulo ay nasa huling taon ay nagiging lame duck na. But we have a Presidente who even during his last year ay hindi lame duck, powerful pa rin at pinapakinggan ang ating mga kababayan (In our country, it’s been common for a president to become a lame duck in his last year in office. But we have a president who even during his last year is not a lame duck and remains powerful. Our countrymen continue to listen to him),” Andanar said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in an interview with CNN Philippines, said Duterte continues to enjoy the “trendsetting popularity” in terms of trust rating and satisfaction scores.

“No other President has achieved this. So, despite the fact that we have a handful of protesters and almost professionally conducting these protest actions, an overwhelming majority of the people support the President, continue to trust and are satisfied with its leadership,” Roque said.

‘Passing’ scores

Meantime, the same survey by PUBLiCUS showed that the Duterte government has received “passing” marks in infrastructure development (7.33), taking care of overseas Filipino workers (6.72), providing public education (6.69), promoting peace in Mindanao (6.55), and anti-terrorism drive (6.52).

The Duterte administration has also earned “passing” scores in crime reduction and providing health services (both 6.49), Covid-19 response efforts (6.40), food security (6.39), economic development (6.27), poverty reduction (6.18), job generation and dealing with corruption (both 6.11), foreign affairs (6.05), and energy security (6.02).

However, the government has failed to obtain passing marks in promoting human rights (5.86) and managing inflation (5.82), PUBLiCUS said.

It also noted that the government’s popular projects and programs include the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program (67.1 percent), Bayanihan Acts (43.9 percent), anti-narcotics drive (40.9 percent), and the Universal Health Care Act (31.8 percent). (PNA)