President Rodrigo Roa Duterte received an unsolicited encouragement from a former President of the republic- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The recent SWS survey conducted from September 23-27, 2017 saw the net satisfaction of President Duterte dropped to a ‘good” 48 from a “very good” 66.
Many interpretations have been made public from the very active opposition saying that this is the end of the Honeymoon period for the president, and that the people now are seeing how incompetent and what he truly is- which is all in the negative from their perspective. For Malacañan, the response was “The Honeymoon is over, but the love is still there.”. The survey showed what was glaring and that was the first ever double-digit drop in his satisfaction and trust ratings, while the president has been quoted a couple of times that he is no longer playing the popularity games since he is not up for another re-election. *
Former president and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) said she’s done worse, rating wise ,compared to the incumbent president.
"During my term, I too suffered even more serious problems with my ratings, precipitated by the same kind of vicious opposition now working to bring down President Duterte," she said in a statement.
"I responded by focusing instead on performance, performance, performance. It was my intention to leave a real legacy of achievement, because it was only the judgment of history that mattered to me," said the Pampanga representative
Based on data from the same polling body, Arroyo's average net satisfaction rating for her 9 years in office was -9. Her lowest was -53 in March 2010, while the highest was +30 in March 2004.
According to SWS President Mahar Mangahas, Arroyo did not have any honeymoon period, unlike the other presidents since former dictator Ferdinand Marcos' ouster from power.
GMA ascended to the presidency in 2001 after former President Joseph Estrada stepped down following calls for his resignation regarding allegations he received millions in kickback from illegal numbers game, Jueteng. She was elected for another term in 2004 but faced accusations of poll rigging.
For Arroyo, the ratings plunge was but a blip and should not worry Duterte that much. *
"After a whole year of stratospheric ratings, the President should not be unduly worried by the drop in his ratings for the 3rd quarter of the year. This is a blip, especially because the survey was taken at the height of the controversy over so-called EJK's in the war against drugs," she said.
GMA explains that the rise and drop in a president’s approval ratings are “bound to happen in the course of his/her term.”
"It is part of the territory. It reflects the pulse of the people at a particular time. A drop though does not mean erosion of public support but merely a sentiment on particular policies," she said.
Arroyo reminded Duterte that "the job of a president is not to make popular decisions" but to "make decisions for the greater good though unpopular."
"I had to endure this process myself when I made tough and unpopular decisions that ultimately redounded to the common good," she said.
Duterte, she added, has started several "historic" initiatives, which will comprise his "real legacy."
Arroyo cited Duterte's initiatives on comprehensive tax reform, infrastructure build-out, Charter change, and securing and rebuilding Marawi city.
"All of them can produce major changes early enough to improve his ratings by early next year," she said. *
Report from ABS-CBN website