09 October 2009

The Most Unpopular President

SWS Survey
Results of the latest satisfaction ratings conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the least popular Philippine president since the dawn of political surveys in the 1980s. The decline in her ratings was just all over the place and even across all income classes.

The quarterly survey covering the periods of 18-21 September 2009, showed that the biggest drop was by 13 percent in Luzon outside Metro Manila. However, President Arroyo's ratings also fell in the Visayas and Mindanao where she and her political allies have traditionally done well in elections. Dissatisfaction with the president in Metro Manila, historically opposition turf, remained steady at -46 percent (21 percent satisfied, 66 percent dissatisfied), which was the lowest in the country.

A more detailed breakdown of the survey results can be seen here.

In an ambush interview by GMANews.TV, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita brushed off questions about the survey results. "Huwag na natin pag-usapan masyado ang pulitika dahil nakakaawa ang ating mga kababayan (Let's not talk politics while our countrymen are suffering)," he told reporters.

It was obvious that Secretary Ermita tried his best to inject a note of optimism and deflect the public's perception from the survey to the government's equally unimpressive and doom-laden disaster preparedness and mitigation measures. It is also fascinating how Secretary Ermita can easily dismiss national survey results that does not favor the government, but can grin inanely at some mysterious figures from provincial party-mates showing support for President Arroyo.

Maybe one way to get back her popularity is for the President to ask all her Cabinet Secretaries not to insult the intelligence of anyone by ignoring the results of a nationwide survey. Every Filipino who answered that survey are old enough to remember the lavish dinners she attended while the nation is mourning the passing of former President Corazon C. Aquino. Also, the "Jose Pidal" controversy and the ZTE Scandal will forever be etched in the minds of the poor and the hungry how the glorified barrow-boys of MalacaƱang flaunted their ostentatious wealth at the taxpayer's expense.

When the next survey starts, it is best for those naive, immature, arrogant and incompetent officials to admit that they failed miserably to implement the disaster preparedness and mitigation plan because most of the funds for rescue boats and life-jackets were spent in travel overseas. Do we need to say that unofficial spouses were also beneficiaries of those travel funds?