MANILA, Apr 6 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang should work double time to arrest the dramatic plunge in President Benigno Aquino III’s satisfaction rating before he delivers his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July to keep the public from totally losing confidence in him as his term ends, a political analyst said.
Failure to reverse the decline might diminish the value of his endorsement for the 2016 elections, Professor Prospero de Vera III of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), said on Monday.
“Ang kailangang bantayan ng communications management team ng Pangulo ay ‘wag nang mag-hemorrhage [ang kanyang ratings] dahil paparating na ang SONA.’Wag naman sanang pagdating ng SONA ay i-isipin ng mga tao na bobolahin lang sila ng Pangulo dahil magtutuloy-tuloy ‘yan at baka pagdating ng 2016 maging negative [ang] endorsement niya,” De Vera said.
The latest Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) survey showed President Benigno Aquino III’s net satisfaction rating has dropped to +11 in the first quarter of 2015, down 28 points from December. The survey results meant the President garnered a “moderate” rating, compared with a “good” +39 in December.
The latest survey results reflect the lowest satisfaction rating for the President since he assumed office in 2010, according to SWS.
This is a cause for concern, De Vera said, noting former presidents, including Aquino’s predecessor, incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), experienced such a predicament.
A March 2010 SWS survey showed the public dissatisfaction with Arroyo deteriorated from “bad” to “very bad” on a net satisfaction rating of -53.
“Noong panahon ni GMA, towards the end of her term, people were unwilling to give her the benefit of doubt anymore. Ibig sabihin kahit anong gawin niya or kahit ‘yung intensyon niya ay tama, ang tingin ng tao, may ibang plano siya at may masamang intensyon siya. Pagdating ng SONA niya, sabi ng mga in-interview na hindi sila naniniwalang magsasabi ng totoo si GMA sa SONA,” De Vera noted.
The professor believes the 28-point decline in Aquino’s net satisfaction rating could have been averted had his team did a more thorough analysis of how to handle the Mamasapano debacle, as the worst crisis to impact on his presidency.
“Dito parang mabagal o maraming kulang doon sa analysis. Ang isang bagay na bago ngayon dito sa Mamasapano ay ‘yung social media element. Mahirap itong i-analyze dahil ang response ng tao diyan real-time at madaling galitin ang tao through social media… Siguro ‘yung communication team ng Pangulo ngayon, mahina ang pag-handle nila sa social media,” he said.
De Vera said it would have helped had the President immediately apologized for the Jan. 25 tragedy, which claimed the lives of over 60 individuals that include 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers.
“Kung agad ginawa [ang pag-so-sorry] at agad umako ng pagkukulang, sa tingin ko malaki ang maitutulong nito sa pagtanggap ng mga Pilipino. Pero noong dinelay na ng dinelay, parang kahit mag-sorry sa dulo, mahirap na itong tanggapin ng mga Pilipino,” he said.
Aquino has not issued an apology for the Mamasapano debacle. Instead, he appealed to Filipinos for understanding regarding his actions. (MNS)