A recent survey of IBON Foundation confirms telltale signs of 2005 as a critical year for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Based on its Dec. 20-29, 2004 nationwide survey, IBON revealed an increasing number of Filipinos who are dissatisfied with the President’s performance.
A recent survey of IBON Foundation confirms telltale signs of 2005 as a critical year for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Based on its Dec. 20-29, 2004 nationwide survey, IBON revealed an increasing number of Filipinos who rate the President’s performance as unsatisfactory.
IBON research director Antonio Tujan told reporters in a news conference Jan. 8 that of 1,313 respondents they surveyed, 79.89 percent called Macapagal-Arroyo’s performance unsatisfactory.
This figure is unprecedented and is higher compared to the Oct. 2004 survey’s 76.33 percent and April 2004’s 55.8 percent.
The yearend survey by IBON, an independent research think tank based in Manila, also closely matched recent findings by other research agencies, including Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS), who found the President’s popularity rating consistently falling.
IBON said that on the other hand those who believe that Macapagal-Arroyo did her job satisfactorily fell from 25.2 percent in April to 8.46 percent in October to 6.25 percent in December last year.
Tujan said that the lack of important reforms that would address the people’s urgent issues like prices, jobs, and wages to name a few, “contributed to the growing number of Filipinos who are not satisfied with the performance of the President.”
“These were aggravated by the fiscal crisis and the corruption scandals involving public officials and the military,” Tujan, who also chairs the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CENPEG), continued.
Life worsened in 2004
In the same survey, the number of respondents who said that their income and livelihood worsened in 2004 went up to 54.23 percent from 53.18 percent and 38.37 percent in October and July, respectively.
A big percentage – 64.2 percent – said their family income is not enough to meet their basic needs, a slight decrease from the previous October’s 66.29 percent.
Ironically, IBON found less pessimism among its respondents on the economy in 2005. The number of respondents who think that the economy will worsen this year went down significantly from 53.26 percent in October to 33.59 percent in December.
Many Filipinos also maintain a “wait-and-see attitude” with the number of respondents uncertain of this year’s economy going up to 12 percent, the IBON survey said.
IBON also revealed most Filipinos want price regulation back (51.18 percent); reject VAT expansion (74.11 percent); power and water rate hikes are unreasonable (92 percent).
These findings, Tujan said, are not surprising because amid poverty, low income and joblessness, “every centavo that would add up to people’s expenses is unacceptable.”
Government not helping
“What makes the people more upset,” he said, “is the perception that government is not helping them and, worse ever, promotes power and water rate increases.”
Further, most respondents are for a total log ban (79.82 percent); 57.43 percent also oppose amending the 1987 Constitution.
The IBON yearend survey was conducted nationwide to gauge the people’s perception of the economy, their income and livelihood, government performance, and other pressing issues.
It also coincided with the wake and burial of Fernando Poe., Jr., the movie king-turned presidential contender who many Filipinos believe was defrauded in the May 2004 elections. Poe was buried on Dec. 22 by an estimated one million mourners in Manila.
Two political analysts interviewed in last week’s Bulatlat issue agreed that President Macapagal-Arroyo will not likely survive 2005, hinting that her political foes and disgruntled military elements would unite for her ouster. Bulatlat.com