Gloria Must Go, Youth Say in Survey

Even prior to the public statement of 10 Cabinet members that the President should resign, the sentiments of the youth are already for her removal from office. A recent youth survey shows that the youth find the President as largely an ineffective leader due to her inability address vital national concerns.

By Carl Marc Ramota

Amid mounting calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ouster, an independent youth research group said majority of the youth wants her to resign.

According to a June 15-July 1 survey by the Institute for Nationalist Studies (INS), 495 respondents (58 percent) demanded Arroyo’s resignation from office while only 5 percent of the respondents said she should stay. Meanwhile, 24 percent of the respondents called for unity amid political uncertainties.

INS spokesperson Joseph Cuevas said the survey’s result is not surprising at all, considering that 74 percent of the respondents believes Arroyo rigged the results of the 2004 elections.

Ineffective leader

Cuevas added that 65 percent of the respondents think Arroyo is an ineffective leader.

“Arroyo’s all-time low approval rating of negative 33 percent is not only due to her direct involvement in fraud in last year’s elections but also because she has failed to provide for the basic needs of the youth,” he said.

He said Arroyo’s policies on subsidy reduction in state schools and deregulation of tuition pose a bleak future for the youth.

Most of the respondents said that Arroyo was not able to deliver substantial reforms in major concerns like education (83 percent), employment (82 percent), peace and order (70 percent) and corruption (79 percent).

On the other hand, 87 percent of the respondents said that Arroyo’s policies, such as the enactment of the expanded value-added tax (E-VAT) law, made life harder for ordinary Filipinos. Sixty percent of those surveyed said that Arroyo does not have respect for human rights amid unresolved cases of killings involving journalist and activists.

Decreasing support

Meanwhile, 49 respondents (6 percent) said that they voted for Arroyo in 2004, but most of them have already lost their confidence in her leadership.

Only eight respondents (0.95 percent) said that Arroyo was an effective president. On the other hand, 44 percent of respondents said that Arroyo should voluntarily resign.

The INS also conducted two surveys on the youth’s electoral preference in February and May 2004. The results showed that Arroyo was never the first choice of the youth, ranking only fourth (13 percent) and second (21 percent) respectively as the youth’s choice for president.

Cuevas said the recent survey results reflect the sentiments of majority of the youth on the issues hounding the president. Earlier, student groups from several schools including De La Salle Univeristy and Ateneo de Manila, and different youth organizations called for Arroyo’s resignation.

Eight hundred forty-two respondents participated in the INS survey which was conducted from June 15 to July 1, 2005 in several schools and communities in Metro Manila. These include the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, University of the East, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Philippine Maritime Institute, Culiat High School, Ramon Magsaysay High School, Quirino High School and communities in Sampaloc and Caloocan City.

The survey has a margin of error of +/ -3. Bulatlat

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