NEWS: Anton downplays Arroyo’s unpopularity dip;As most unpopular leader since 1986 EDSA people power

july 21

Davao del Norte 2nd District Congressman Antonio Lagdameo came to the defense of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo downplaying the latest survey result of Social Weather Station, making her the most unpopular leader in the country since democracy was restored in 1986.

Lagdameo said the popularity rating of Mrs. Arroyo could have even dipped much lower following the recent typhoon, the soaring prices of basic commodities, and fuel costs.

But according to Lagdameo the presidency is not a popularity contest.

“Any president who wants to be popular can simply order that gas be retailed at P20 per liter, rice at P10 a kilo, the minimum wage to increase to P1, 000 a day, zero taxes on goods, and no traffic fines,” Lagdameo said.

“But these are not a prescription to popularity; rather, these will lead us to the road to perdition, which brings us to the first lesson in presidency: that most often the right decisions are tough, and they will not endear you to the people,” he pointed out.

Lagdameo remained to be optimistic to Arroyo’s administration despite her latest plunge in the survey which indicated that only 22 percent of Filipinos were satisfied with the President’s performance while 60 percent were dissatisfied, in a poll conducted in the last week of June.

The same SWS survey indicted a record low on President’s net satisfaction ratings in Mindanao where it fell by 8 points, from the already negative 33 to negative 41.

It fell by 18 points (from negative 15 in March to negative 33 in June) in the Visayas, where the President, as the SWS noted, “customarily draws her strongest support.”

In Luzon outside Metro Manila, it fell by 13 points (from negative 25 to negative 38).

In Metro Manila, it dropped by 3 points, from negative 37 to negative 40.

The June 2008 survey found dissatisfaction worsening in all socio-economic classes, with the middle-to-upper classes or ABCs just as dissatisfied now as the masa or class D.

The net satisfaction rating of Pres. Arroyo fell the most among the middle-to-upper classes or ABCs. It fell by 23 points, from -14 (34 percent satisfied, 48 percent dissatisfied) last March to -37 (22 percent satisfied, 59 percent dissatisfied) in June.

The President’s latest SWS survey showing a dive in her net satisfaction rating is enough indication of the growing disappointment in her leadership, senators said over weekend.

“Her below zero rating reflects people’s disgust over administration’s incompetence, misgovernance, corruption, extra-judicial killings, disappearances and a presidency without a mandate,” Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Saturday in reaction to the reported survey results.

Mrs. Arroyo is the longest serving president in the country, coming second to President Ferdinand Marcos.

Her aides explained Mrs. Arroyo’s deepest plunge by claiming that they had expected it, and that this is what leaders who make “correct” but unpopular decisions have to pay.

Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde claimed that the -38 net satisfaction rating stems from rising rice and fuel prices in the country, but quickly added that these increases should not be blamed on her and her government.

“The result is obviously due to the problems confronting the country brought about by the global food and energy crises. The President is paying a high price for making the right decisions on very unpopular issues such as the eVAT,” Remonde said. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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