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Duterte’s approval and trust ratings sink as prices of commodities go up

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 It seems the honeymoon is over for the populist President Rodrigo Duterte as his approval and trust rating dwindle down due to the various issues on economy that to many observers have been neglected.

The approval and trust ratings of the President early this month hit the double-digit declines and the lowest levels since he ascent to power, as the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities seem unabated that greatly affect all the consumers and households, especially the poor, who spend a big part of their income on food.

The Pulse Asia survey result was released on Tuesday showed the President’s approval and trust scores declining 13 points and 15 points, respectively, although a majority of Filipinos still approve of his work and expressed trust in him.

The President’s approval rating stood at 75 percent and trust rating at 72 percent, both his lowest since September 2016. All these ratings fell among all socioeconomic classes and across geographic areas.

From socioeconomic Class D. the poor who gave the President an approval rating of 74 percent, down 13 points and trust rating of 71 percent, down 16 points the biggest declines in the record.

While the approval ratings of the President in Class ABC — the rich and middle class — as well as in Class E, the poorest of the poor, also recorded double-digit declines.

Meanwhile, Presidential mouthpiece Harry Roque said the President was unperturbed by ratings and was focused on doing his job.

In the news briefing Roque said, “We are not affected by it because the President will do his best to discharge his duties”. He also added that the rising inflation could have caused the drop in the ratings because higher rice prices negated the administration’s gains in other areas.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 1 to 7, when the Philippine Statistics Authority reported nationwide inflation in August hit 6.4 percent year-on-year, a nine-year high.

The inflation was higher in Metro Manila at 7 percent and highest in the Bicol region at 9 percent.

Many Filipinos have aired their concerns on the rice prices, especially those of commercial varieties, that increased by double digit since last month.

The most affected areas on the uncontrolled prices of commercial rice are Zamboanga City and Tawi-Tawi province wherein the cost of rice went up as much as P70 to P80 per kilogram that led to the declaration of state of calamity by the local governments.

Also the continued fuel price hikes, weakening of peso, low supply of certain commodities and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act were also blamed for the rising cost of living.

The TRAIN law which added the excise on goods such as oil, cigarettes, sugary drinks and vehicles to compensate for a higher tax-exempt personal income.

See related stories:

Peso dives to a new 13-year low, closed at 54.23 against US$

750,000 metric tons imported rice to flood market, hopes to thwart rice cartels

Philippines oil import went up 32.8% amidst high prices, weak peso

Philippine peso heading to hit at P58:$1 by 2019

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