Political analyst Froilan Calilung (File photo) 

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. received a "very good" net satisfaction rating of +68 percent in a recent survey because Filipinos are “seeing his efforts” to achieve economic transformation for the country, a political analyst said on Wednesday.

Dr. Froilan Calilung, who teaches political science at the University of Santo Tomas, said Marcos’ high rating could be attributed to his efforts to attract more foreign direct investments from his trips abroad.

“I think this is a testament also to the fact that our countrymen are seeing also the efforts of the President,” Calilung said in a Laging Handa public briefing.

“Ito nga pong mga pagbibiyahe ng ating Pangulo, siguro kung titingnan natin eh isang paraan talaga hindi lamang para ipakilala ang Pilipinas kung hindi manghikayat talaga ng mga foreign direct investments (These trips of our President, maybe if we look at it is a way not only to introduce the Philippines but also to really encourage foreign direct investments),” he added.

He said these investments were necessary to help keep the country’s economy afloat amid the slump triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation.

“…Sa mundo ng globalization na ginagalawan natin ay talagang napakahalaga kasi hindi natin kakayanin talaga or mahihirapan tayo (In this world of globalization, it is really very important because we will have difficulty) to really push the economy if we’re just going to rely on what is domestically… within the country especially in terms of economy,” he said.

Despite obtaining high satisfaction ratings, Calilung said Marcos should not be complacent about his performance as the country's president.

“It is also important for our President to see that he should not have a sense of complacency, that he should intensify and further push the government to become more responsive especially to the needs of the community, the public…Not just our economy but our people as a whole. That, I believe is what this survey is trying to tell us right now,” he added.

Based on the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in December 2022, Marcos received a very good net satisfaction rating of +68, which is five points higher than the October 2022 rating of +63.

SWS terminology for net satisfaction ratings are: +70 and above (excellent); +50 to +69 (very good); +30 to +49 (good); +10 to +29 (moderate); +9 to –9 (neutral); –10 to –29 (poor): –30 to –49 (bad); –50 to –69 (very bad); and –70 and below (execrable).

Important trading partner

Meanwhile, Calilung expressed confidence that Marcos’ official trip to Tokyo from Feb. 8 to 12 would result in positive outcomes for Philippine-Japan relations, including more investment pledges and people-to-people exchanges.

Aside from Marcos’ economic team and other Cabinet officials, more than 150 individuals have signed up to be part of Marcos’ business delegation.

“I think it is imperative, na nandito nga iyong mga delegasyon ng ating Pangulo, kasama niya iyong kaniyang economic team para nga pagtuunan ng pansin, pag-usapan ang mga mahahalagang aspeto na patungkol sa negosyo, kalakalan at iyon nga, iyong foreign direct investments (that the President’s delegation is there with his economic team to discuss the important aspects related to business, trade, and foreign direct investments). And hopefully we could get additional foreign direct investments from Japan. Alam naman natin (We know) that Japan is a very, very important trading partner of the Philippines and siguro, mas mapapaigting ito sa pamamagitan nga nitong pagpupulong na ito (perhaps this meeting would intensify that partnership),” he said.

Calilung, likewise, underscored the value of Marcos accepting invitations from foreign leaders to visit their respective countries as a “gesture of diplomatic courtesy.”

“…We need to understand na ang Pangulo natin ay inimbitahan ng Japanese Premier mismo (that the President was invited by the Japanese Prime Minister himself). So I think as a gesture of diplomatic courtesy, I think it’s imperative na tanggapin ng ating Pangulo itong imbitasyon na ito (for the President accept this invitation),” he said.

He said the Philippines and Japan are also expected to sign seven bilateral agreements which will cover cooperation in infrastructure development, defense, agriculture and information and communications technology. (PNA)