TALK TO THE PEOPLE. President Rodrigo R. Duterte holds his regular Talk to the People to give updates on government’s response against Covid-19 and other urgent concerns in this undated photo. A recent Pulse Asia survey showed that many Filipinos continue to approve the Duterte administration’s relentless fight against the pandemic. (Presidential photo)

MANILA – Many Filipinos continue to approve the Duterte administration’s relentless fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to the results of the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Tuesday.

Pulse Asia’s Sept. 6 to 11 poll found that 59 percent of 2,400 respondents approved the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The approval score, however, was down by 6 percentage points from the 65 percent recorded in June this year.

Only 17 percent expressed disapproval over the current administration’s Covid-19 response efforts, while 23 percent were ambivalent on the matter.

Sixty-four percent of the respondents also approved the government’s distribution of emergency assistance to Filipinos who lost their livelihood and jobs because of the pandemic.

Only 14 percent were dissatisfied with the government’s response to the needs of those who have to bear the brunt of the pandemic, while 22 percent were undecided.

High approval in other fields

The survey also bared that the Duterte administration also obtained high approval scores when it comes to fighting criminality (74 percent), responding to the needs of calamity-stricken areas (71 percent), protecting the overseas Filipino workers’ (OFWs) welfare (66 percent), and promoting peace in the country (64 percent).

The government also earned high approval ratings in terms of enforcing the law on all, whether influential or ordinary people (60 percent), stopping the destruction and abuse of environment (59 percent), and fighting graft and corruption in government.

Pulse Asia said 49 percent approved the government’s initiatives to defend the integrity of Philippine territory against foreigners, as well as to create more jobs.

Forty-eight percent of the respondents approved the government’s move to increase the pay of workers, 41 percent were satisfied with its efforts to reduce poverty, and 37 percent lauded the steps taken to control inflation.

‘Most urgent’ concerns

The same poll showed Filipinos believed that controlling inflation (41 percent) and increasing the pay of workers (40 percent) are the two top “most urgent” national concerns.

According to the survey, other issues that must also be addressed include the spread of Covid-19 and poverty of many Filipinos (29 percent each), graft and corruption in government (26 percent), employment (25 percent), and the distribution of assistance to those affected by the pandemic (19 percent).

Other urgent issues cited by Pulse Asia were law enforcement, promotion of peace, and involuntary hunger (15 percent each); criminality (14 percent); destruction and abuse of environment (11 percent); tax reduction (8 percent); defending the Philippine territory and protecting OFWs (5 percent); and terrorism (2 percent).

Personal concerns

The survey also showed that staying healthy is the top personal concern of most of the respondents.

Results of Pulse Asia’s poll found that 70 percent of Filipinos want to stay healthy and avoid illnesses.

Forty-seven percent of the respondents also hoped to have a “secure and well-paying” job, 46 percent wanted to have enough food every day, and 43 percent looked forward to finishing schooling or being able to provide schooling for their children.

Other personal issues include the respondents’ desire to have savings and avoid being a victim of any serious crime (32 percent each), as well as to have house and lot (30 percent).

Pulse Asia used ±2 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level. (PNA)