President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with former President and incumbent Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, attends Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada’s 80th birthday celebration at the Manila Hotel on April 19, 2017. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO (FILE)
Commiserating with President Rodrigo Duterte, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has this to say after the double-digit drop in his ratings: “The job of a president is not to make popular decisions.”
Recalling her own experience, Arroyo said in a statement issued on Monday: “I had to endure this process myself when I made tough and unpopular decisions that ultimately redounded to the common good.”
Arroyo, who became the representative of Pampanga 2nd district after stepping down from the presidency in 2010, said the rise and drop in ratings is just “part of the territory.”
“It reflects the pulse of the people at a particular time. A drop though does not mean erosion of public support but merely a sentiment on particular policies,” Arroyo said.
Since Duterte enjoyed “a whole year of stratospheric ratings,” Arroyo said he “should not be unduly worried” by this “blip” that she noted to have occurred “at the height of the controversy over so-called EJK’s in the war against drugs.”
Remembering her even lower net satisfaction ratings, Arroyo took a swipe at the “same kind of vicious opposition now working to bring down President Duterte.”
But, she said she “responded by focusing instead on performance, performance, performance.”
“It was my intention to leave a real legacy of achievement, because it was only the judgment of history that mattered to me,” Arroyo noted.
For now, she said Duterte has taken on “several historic initiatives that too will comprise his real legacy” and “can produce major changes early enough to improve his ratings by early next year.”
These include the comprehensive tax reform package, infrastructure buildout, Charter change, and securing and rebuilding Marawi City, Arroyo said.
Contrary to Duterte’s, Mrs. Arroyo’s net satisfaction ratings by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) were the lowest among the post-Marcos presidents.
Net satisfaction ratings are the difference between those satisfied and those who are not.
Arroyo peaked at +24 points in March 2001, which dipped to +16 a year later. But, beginning March 2005 until the end of her presidency in June 2010, those dissatisfied with her have outnumbered the satisfied respondents, so she ended up averaging -7 points for her nine-year tenure.
The range of Duterte’s net satisfaction ratings for his first year, +64 in September 2016 to +48 in September 2017, was more similar to that of Presidents Corazon Aquino’s +53 in May 1986 to +69 in March 1987, Fidel Ramos’s +66 in September 1992 to +62 in September 1993, Joseph Estrada’s +60 in September 1998 to +28 in October 1999, and Benigno Aquino III’s +60 in September 2010 to +56 in September 2011.