1st OF MAY: FILIPINO WORKERS SEE DEAD-END UNDER AQUINO

LABOR groups slammed President Benigno Aquino III Thursdayfor the lack of a pro-labor legacy, saying he has alienated the people he proudly called his bosses four years ago. “For the last four Labor Day commemorations, workers have received nothing or zero from PNoy,” said Renato Magtubo, chairman of the Partido ng Manggagawa, referring to the President by his nickname. “Just like this Labor Day, workers will get no wage increase, not even non-wage benefits from government.” PHOTO- United front. Members of labor groups march down España Boulevard in Manila on their way to Mendiola Bridge to protest the wage and employment situation and government inaction. Some 30,000 workers from different groups marked Labor Day with protests at the Liwasang Bonifacio, Welcome Rotunda and Mendiola Bridge. The labor coalition Nagkaisa that led the Labor Day march to Mediola described the last four years under Aquino as “extremely disappointing” as the President has not addressed any of the workers’ most pressing concerns. Nagkaisa said growth will remain highly unequal when millions of workers remain in contractual jobs with no security of tenure. More than 70 percent of employed persons in the country, are contractual or “non-regular,” one study showed. Labor groups said they are the country’s most overworked and most poorly paid workers.READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy: No to pay hike

THE government ruled out mandated pay increases for some 41 million state and private sector workers ahead of this year’s Labor Day celebration, causing the country’s largest trade union confederation to give President Benigno Aquino III a failing grade. “On a scale of one to 10, we gave him below five, because he did practically nothing to improve the welfare of the workers,” said the president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, which groups about 40 labor federations. He also chided the President for failing to offer a plan, “not even in broad strokes,” to address growing unemployment. A Palace spokesman said Wednesday that the President had already ruled out a pay hike for the country’s 1.6 million state workers, saying there is no budget for a wage increase. “The President had already met with labor yesterday (Tuesday) and discussed... what can be done, [and] what...cannot,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda. He added that the President has asked Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares to discuss some of the concerns raised by the labor groups. “There will be a sit-down with the labor sector again,” Lacierda said. Baldoz, meanwhile, said the government would not be announcing any increase in the minimum wage for private workers, either. “We don’t have any mandatory wage increases as our gift to the private sector workers for Labor Day,” Baldoz said in a media forum. READ MORE...

ALSO: News Analysis: Gov't slammed for failure to provide jobs as Phl tops ASEAN list of jobless

Thousands of disgruntled Filipino workers marked Labor Day here on Thursday with street protests in the capital and other cities in the country assailing the failure of the government of President Benigno Aquino III to provide jobs for Filipinos during his four years in office. The protesters slammed the government's economic policies which they said only favor business oligarchs at the expense of the labor force which continues to experience lack of job security, low income, and high cost of basic services. About 6,500 members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May One Movement) demanded that the government raise the minimum wage by P125 (roughly $2.8). The KMU attributed the country's high unemployment rate to dependence on foreign investments, failure to implement genuine land reform and absence of national industrialization plan. The protesters, led by former Bayan Muna (Country First) Representative Teodoro Casino and director-actress Monique Wilson, burned a robot effigy of President Aquino, which they said symbolized the chief executive's "puppetry to imperialism." READ MORE...

ALSO: PH tops Asean list of jobless, says ILO

The Philippines has the highest unemployment rate among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). Based on the ILO Global Employment Trends report published in January, the Philippines registered an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent as of 2013. This is relatively high compared with the rest of the Southeast Asian region. In most of Southeast Asia, the unemployment rate showed a downward trend—from an average of 6 percent between 2000 and 2008 to a projected 4.5 percent in the next few years. Ranking just below Philippines is Indonesia with 6 percent, the study showed. Brunei has 3.7 percent; Burma, 3.5 percent; Malaysia, 3.2 percent; and Singapore, 3.1 percent. The countries with the lowest unemployment rates are Vietnam, 1.9 percent; Laos, 1.4 percent; Thailand, 0.8 percent; and Cambodia, 0.3 percent. ILO said global unemployment for 2013 reached 202 million, an increase of almost 5 million compared with the year before.READ MORE...

ALSO: SWS: More Pinoys believe PNoy serving middle class more than rich, poor

More Filipinos perceive President Benigno Aquino III as serving the interests of the middle class more than the rich or poor, according to a new survey by pollster Social Weather Stations. The survey from March 27 to 30 also showed more Filipinos believe Aquino is serving the interests of the rich than the poor. For its survey, SWS asked 1,200 adult respondents the question, "Do you think Pres. Noynoy Aquino is serving the interest of the rich, the middle class, or the poor?" In the survey posted on SWS media partner BusinessWorld early Friday, nearly half or 49 percent of respondents said Aquino was serving the middle class. READ MORE...

ALSO: 20% of Filipinos see cronyism as ‘very serious’ problem under PNoy – SWS

One out of five Filipinos still considers cronyism a "very serious" problem under the watch of President Benigno Aquino III, according to a new poll by Social Weather Stations. The SWS poll asked the question, “Cronies are those who use their friendship with the President to enrich themselves in improper ways. How serious in your opinion is the cronyism in the present administration?” The poll found that 20 percent of respondents considered cronyism "very serious," the same level as in March 2012 and higher than the 19 percent in November 2010. Around 40 percent said cronyism was “somewhat serious,” higher than the 37 percent in March 2012 but lower than the 44 percent in November 2010. About 17 percent said cronyism was “a little serious” while 22 percent said it was “hardly serious.” “(But) the public’s perception of cronyism in the present administration had no correlation with their satisfaction with the performance of Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III as president,” the SWS qualified. READ MORE...


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1st of May: Workers see dead end under Aquino


United front. Members of labor groups march down España Boulevard in Manila on their way to Mendiola Bridge to protest the wage and employment situation and government inaction. NAAZI CASTRO

MANILA, MAY 5, 2014 (MANILA STANDARD) By Vito Barcelo, Joyce Pangco Pañares, Macon Ramos-Araneta and Maricel V. Cruz - LABOR groups slammed President Benigno Aquino III Thursdayfor the lack of a pro-labor legacy, saying he has alienated the people he proudly called his bosses four years ago.

“For the last four Labor Day commemorations, workers have received nothing or zero from PNoy,” said Renato Magtubo, chairman of the Partido ng Manggagawa, referring to the President by his nickname. “Just like this Labor Day, workers will get no wage increase, not even non-wage benefits from government.”

Some 30,000 workers from different groups marked Labor Day with protests at the Liwasang Bonifacio, Welcome Rotunda and Mendiola Bridge.

The labor coalition Nagkaisa that led the Labor Day march to Mediola described the last four years under Aquino as “extremely disappointing” as the President has not addressed any of the workers’ most pressing concerns.

Nagkaisa said growth will remain highly unequal when millions of workers remain in contractual jobs with no security of tenure.

More than 70 percent of employed persons in the country, are contractual or “non-regular,” one study showed. Labor groups said they are the country’s most overworked and most poorly paid workers.

Nagkaisa also tore into the government for having no realistic plan to lower the price of electricity, which continues to rise while wages remain the same.

The group said at this rate, workers could see only a dead end in the Aquino administration’s “straight path” policy.

The Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions, meanwhile, called for the abolition of the National Labor Relations Center for its failure to resolve labor disputes.

At a news conference, Dave Diwa of PAFLU, along with Timoteo Aranjuez of the Congress of Labor Organizations, Rodolfo Javellana Jr. of the Union of Filipino Consumers and Commuters and other labor leaders, signed a manifesto to call for the creation of a separate government agency that would look into the various labor complaints in the private sector and abuses of the overseas workers by their employers.

The groups also blamed the Aquino administration for low wages, the proliferation of contractual work, the lack of tax breaks for workers and the high incidence of unemployment.

Despite the angry rhetoric, most of the protest actions Thursday were peaceful, the police said.

Traffic in Manila, however, was tied up by the thousands of marchers protesting the lack of wage and non-wage benefits, as well as the recent signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States.

The Palace on Thursday said it was wary of a fourth round of wage increases for state workers proposed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. The fourth round under the Salary Standardization Law would raise the base pay of the lowest government rank fro P9,000 a month to P16,000.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the proposal must be studied carefully to see if is aligned with the administration’s budget priorities.

The measure would also raise the monthly salaries of Cabinet officials to P600,000 to P800,000 to curb corruption in government, and increase the President’s salary from P120,000 to P1 million.

But Coloma said it was more important to raise the pay of public school teachers, soldiers, policemen and career government employees.

“That proposal is similar to the existing policy in Singapore where the salaries of government officials are at par with corporate executives. We have to study the full implication of the proposal – including the total amount that would be spent and how this could be aligned with the budget priorities of the government such as public infrastructure and poverty reduction,” Coloma added.

Trillanes’ bill would also raise the monthly salaries of senators and members of the House of Representatives from the current P90,000 to over P350,000.

“Due to the competitive compensation package, our public servants will no longer consider resorting to unscrupulous activities in order to augment their meager income, and, instead, focus their efforts and energy to public service, curbing corruption and cutting red tape,” Trillanes said.

Two opposition lawmakers attacked Aquino for his refusal to raise wages for state workers.

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz also said that the Palace’s position proved that the administration’s claim of economic growth was just a press release, and that the benefits have ot trickled down to the poor.

“We had half expected this given the undue fascination of this administration with statistics and credit ratings. Workers’ welfare and rights are mere statistics [to the administration], not human beings whose needs and hopes have to be met,” de la Cruz said.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan dismissed workers salaries as “slave-level wages given the increases in the price of basic commodities, utility rates and fuel.

Ilagan said Aquino has been a failure in terms of economic management and the promotion of workers’ welfare.

In Labor Day messages, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Senate President Franklin Drilon vowed to speed up legislation aimed at improving the lot of workers.

Drilon said this would include a measure that would increase the tax exemption of workers’ 13th month pay.

Another Senate measure seeks to raise wages for soldiers and policemen.

Drilon said the Senate is also open to helping government employees cope with rising prices, but said this must be done without creating a budget deficit. – With Rio N. Araja, Francisco Tuyay and Ma. Jerrylyn B. Damaso

PNoy: No to pay hike By Macon Ramos-Araneta, Othel V. Campos and Vito Barcelo | May. 01, 2014 at 12:01am

Workers’ protest to mark Labor Day


Marginalized labor. A tofu drink vendor, who only earns commissions from the sales of the popular drink called “taho,” endures the scorching noontime sun in search of buyers, almost unaware of a Labor Day mural in Santa Mesa, Manila, featuring the communist slogan “Workers of the world, unite.” DANNY PATA

THE government ruled out mandated pay increases for some 41 million state and private sector workers ahead of this year’s Labor Day celebration, causing the country’s largest trade union confederation to give President Benigno Aquino III a failing grade.

“On a scale of one to 10, we gave him below five, because he did practically nothing to improve the welfare of the workers,” said the president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, which groups about 40 labor federations.

He also chided the President for failing to offer a plan, “not even in broad strokes,” to address growing unemployment.

A Palace spokesman said Wednesday that the President had already ruled out a pay hike for the country’s 1.6 million state workers, saying there is no budget for a wage increase.

“The President had already met with labor yesterday (Tuesday) and discussed... what can be done, [and] what...cannot,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

He added that the President has asked Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares to discuss some of the concerns raised by the labor groups.

“There will be a sit-down with the labor sector again,” Lacierda said.

Baldoz, meanwhile, said the government would not be announcing any increase in the minimum wage for private workers, either.

“We don’t have any mandatory wage increases as our gift to the private sector workers for Labor Day,” Baldoz said in a media forum.

The best gift the government can offer for Labor Day is the 137,000 job vacancies that will be offered in 69 job fairs nationwide, she added, urging private companies at the fairs to increase their hiring rate.

Baldoz said there would be no wage hike announced since the law says such increases must come from the regional tripartite wage and productivity boards.

Lacierda said in the meetings with labor, the President was “mindful of inclusive growth, which should benefit all.”

“One of our main statements is that nobody should be left behind,” he said.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the President told labor leaders the government could not afford to give state workers another increase.

“I want to be frank if you would allow me. It’s easy to make promise, but if I make a promise... whether it’s easy or difficult, I have to do it,” he said.

He said this was the same response he gave last year to the labor groups ahead of the Labor Day celebration.

“We had just finished paying the last mandated increase. Congress passed it,” said Aquino, referring to legislated increases under the Salary Standardization Act.

The President also told labor leaders that granting another wage hike would result in a budget deficit and hurt the country’s credit rating.

Labor groups had earlier said they no longer expected any wage hikes from the administration, while employers and business groups expressed relief that they were not pressing the issue.

“This is good news. This means we’re helping each other. And this will help the country,” said Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Alfredo M. Yao.

“I understand that employees value monetary incentives like an increase in the basic salary. But there are also non-monetary incentives, I believe, [that] will persuade them do their jobs better,” he said. “Perhaps employers can also think of other ways to compensate their workers.”

The country’s biggest group of employers said it was looking forward to more years of industrial peace.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines said industrial peace is necessary to support economic growth.

“Without industrial peace we cannot compete especially with the coming regional economic integration,” said confederation president Edgardo D. Lacson.

Lacson noted that the country has enjoyed industrial peace for the last 10 years, with fewer instances of strikes.

He added that employers and workers have “nurtured the bond of partnership,” which was the key to fostering industrial peace.

The group also credited the labor sector for its continuing commitment to the principle of tripartite decision-making.

Organized labor accounts for about 500,000 employees out of about 40 million workers.

There are about 17,000 organized labor unions and two unregistered groups, including the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

The TUCP on Wednesday also chided tthe President for failing to respond to important issues raised by labor representatives during their meeting in Malacañang Tuesday.

Herrera said that in his almost four years in office, President Aquino has failed to address high unemployment.

“When the President began his term, the official national unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in July 2010. Now, the unemployment rate stands at 7.5 percent, as of January 2014,” Herrera said.

“We are deeply disappointed that up to now, the administration has not offered – not even in broad strokes – clear-cut strategies as to how it intends to forcefully create new jobs,” said Herrera, a former senator.

The labor coalition Nagkisa also slammed the administration.

“President Aquino continues to ignore for four years the issues [important to labor]...Workers are deprived of the benefits due them despite of their great contribution to improving economy,” the group said.

It said Aquino was remembered every Labor Day as the leader who abandoned and failed them at the critical moment when they needed his leadership to address joblessness, the rising cost of living, precarious work arrangements and the high cost of electricity.


NAGKAISA. Thousand of workers belonging to Nagkaisa on their way to Mendiola, 01 May 2014. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA

The group said the growth that Mr. Aquino pointd to was shared only by a few.

To make their sentiments known, the group planned to muster 30,000 members to march from the Welcome Rotunda to Mendiola near the Palace. The group will assemble along España at about 8 a.m.

“We need sound, aggressive and actionable strategies to propel jobs growth in an orderly manner and remove hurdles to full employment” TUCP’s Herrera said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, as of January 2014, 10.07 million able-bodied Filipinos in the labor force were either totally jobless (2.969 million unemployed), or had little work and were desperately looking for additional work and income (7.101 million underemployed).

Although the last reported official unemployment rate was 7.5 percent as of January, a separate survey by the Social Weather Stations showed that a total of 12.1 million individuals were completely without work in the last quarter of 2013, pointing to a much higher jobless rate of 27.5 percent.

Citing a study by the National Competitiveness Council, Herrera said the country has to create 3 million to 4 million new jobs every year over the next five years, to bridge the unemployment gap and bring the nation to newly industrialized status.

“Jobs provide people with incomes that enable them to buy goods and services or to save. The increase in consumption stimulates the market, builds up the economy and provides additional revenue for government. And the accumulation of savings provides more funds for investment,” Herrera said.

He said the government needs to take the lead in creating jobs and proposed a national employment plan that would compel every agency and state-owned firm to carry out more labor-intensive projects.

The president of the Philippine Economic Society said the current growth in the gross domestic product is not enough to create the needed jobs.

“Job creation in the last two years was not enough to cover the average graduates in March of about 500,000,” said Alvin P. Ang, a professor of economics at the University of Sto. Tomas.

Ang said data showed that there is a large number of unfilled positions in several industries, but these are not filled because of the quality of the applicants and their desire for higher salaries.

The ability of the educational system to respond to industry demand is also inelastic in the short term, he said.

Also on Wednesday, Vice President Jejomar Binay acknowledged the role of migrant Filipino workers in driving economic growth, and urged the government to repay them by strengthening the labor force.

“It is only fitting that the government repays their sacrifices with the commitment to empower our labor force with the means to access and enjoy the benefits of our economic expansion,” Binay said. – With Sara Susanne D. Fabunan, PNA

FROM PHILSTAR

News Analysis: Gov't slammed for failure to provide jobs as Phl tops ASEAN list of jobless (philstar.com) | Updated May 2, 2014 - 10:00pm



FILIPINOS LOOKING FOR JOBS

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - Thousands of disgruntled Filipino workers marked Labor Day here on Thursday with street protests in the capital and other cities in the country assailing the failure of the government of President Benigno Aquino III to provide jobs for Filipinos during his four years in office.

The protesters slammed the government's economic policies which they said only favor business oligarchs at the expense of the labor force which continues to experience lack of job security, low income, and high cost of basic services.

About 6,500 members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May One Movement) demanded that the government raise the minimum wage by P125 (roughly $2.8).

The KMU attributed the country's high unemployment rate to dependence on foreign investments, failure to implement genuine land reform and absence of national industrialization plan.

The protesters, led by former Bayan Muna (Country First) Representative Teodoro Casino and director-actress Monique Wilson, burned a robot effigy of President Aquino, which they said symbolized the chief executive's "puppetry to imperialism."

The Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party) called for the establishment of an agro-industrial policy to strengthen local agriculture and industry as basis for growth that will provide regular work and living wages.

"The workers' (call) for an agro-industrial policy has fallen on deaf ears since administration finance and economic officials argue dogmatically that the state's only economic role is to encourage workers and the poor to become micro-entrepreneurs," the Labor Party said.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), a more moderate labor group, called on the government continue to attract new job-creating investments, build new roads, bridges, and sea ports and airports, and lower electricity rate if it wanted to effectively address the unemployment problem.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

A report by ILO Global Employment Trends released in January showed that the Philippines registered an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent as of 2013.

This was relatively high compared with the rest of the Southeast Asian region, the ILO report said. In most of Southeast Asia, the unemployment rate showed a downward trend-from an average of 6 percent between 2000 and 2008 to a projected 4.5 percent in the next few years.

Ranking just below Philippines is Indonesia with 6 percent, the study showed. Brunei has 3.7 percent; Burma, 3.5 percent; Malaysia, 3.2 percent; and Singapore, 3.1 percent.

According to ILO, the countries with the lowest unemployment rates are Vietnam, 1.9 percent; Laos, 1.4 percent; Thailand, 0.8 percent; and Cambodia, 0.3 percent.

The global unemployment for 2013 reached 202 million, an increase of almost 5 million compared to last year's figure, the ILO said.

The ILO noted that in the Philippines, the high unemployment rate persisted as the country failed to translate the significant improvement in its gross domestic product (GDP) in the past two years to employment opportunities for its unemployed workers.

"Despite robust economic growth in excess of 6.8 percent in the last two years, job growth has been subdued and the unemployment rate has remained at around 7 percent throughout 2012 and 2013," ILO Director General Guy Ryder said.

The ILO has projected a bleak outlook for employment in the Philippines and other countries this year despite the expected slow improvement in the world economy.

In February, Aquino held an emergency Cabinet meeting to come up with an "action plan for poverty reduction" as the benefits of a strong economy have eluded the country's middle class and poor.

The meeting was called after the release of a survey the Social Weather Stations (SWS), a local survey firm, that showed the country's unemployment rate rose to 27.5 percent, or an estimated 12.1 million, as 2.5 million Filipinos joined the ranks of the jobless between September and December last year.

The unemployment rate soared even as the economy surprisingly grew by 7.2 percent, the second-fastest after China's, showing that the remarkable economic growth was not inclusive.

The unemployment rate was 6 percentage points higher than the 21.7 percent (some 9.6 million) in the previous quarter, according to the SWS survey.

FROM THE INQUIRER

PH tops Asean list of jobless, says ILO By Tina G. Santos Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:01 am | Friday, May 2nd, 2014 19 104


The Philippines has the highest unemployment rate among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), according to a report of the International Labor Organization (ILO) published in 2014.

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines has the highest unemployment rate among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Based on the ILO Global Employment Trends report published in January, the Philippines registered an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent as of 2013.

This is relatively high compared with the rest of the Southeast Asian region.

In most of Southeast Asia, the unemployment rate showed a downward trend—from an average of 6 percent between 2000 and 2008 to a projected 4.5 percent in the next few years.

Ranking just below Philippines is Indonesia with 6 percent, the study showed.

Brunei has 3.7 percent; Burma, 3.5 percent; Malaysia, 3.2 percent; and Singapore, 3.1 percent.

The countries with the lowest unemployment rates are Vietnam, 1.9 percent; Laos, 1.4 percent; Thailand, 0.8 percent; and Cambodia, 0.3 percent.
ILO said global unemployment for 2013 reached 202 million, an increase of almost 5 million compared with the year before.
In the Philippines, the high unemployment rate will persist as the country has failed to translate the significant improvement in its gross domestic product in the past two years to employment opportunities for its unemployed workers, ILO Director General Guy Ryder said.
“Despite robust economic growth in excess of 6.8 percent in the last two years, job growth has been subdued and the unemployment rate has remained at around 7 percent throughout 2012 and 2013,” Ryder said.
Declining job quality
The ILO official also noted the declining quality of employment in developing countries, including the Philippines, last year.

“In 2013, the number of workers in extreme poverty—living on less than $1.25 a day declined by only 2.7 percent globally, one of the lowest rates over the past decade, with the exception of the immediate crisis years,” Ryder said.

He urged developing countries to implement reforms to generate more jobs, particularly for the youth sector, which accounts for most of the world’s unemployed workers.

An estimated 74.5 million workers under the age of 25 are now unemployed.

This can be attributed, according to Ryder, to restrictive policies in these countries, such as reductions in public spending and hikes in income and consumption taxes that continue to hinder job creation.

“What is urgently needed is policy rethink. Stronger efforts are needed to accelerate employment creation and to support enterprises that create jobs,” Ryder said.

He added that a switch to more employment-friendly policies and rising labor incomes would boost economic growth and job creation.

“It is crucial to strengthen social protection floors and promote transitions to formal employment,” he added.

The ILO has projected a bleak outlook for employment in the Philippines and other countries this year despite the expected slow improvement in the world economy.

Ryder, in a previous statement, said the ILO projected only 200 million new jobs would be created by 2018 worldwide due to weak employment growth in most countries.

“This is less than what is required to absorb the growing number of new entrants to the labor market,” he said.

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

SWS: More Pinoys believe PNoy serving middle class more than rich, poor May 2, 2014 5:02am 2 0 0 131 (Updated 2:23 p.m.)

More Filipinos perceive President Benigno Aquino III as serving the interests of the middle class more than the rich or poor, according to a new survey by pollster Social Weather Stations.

The survey from March 27 to 30 also showed more Filipinos believe Aquino is serving the interests of the rich than the poor.

For its survey, SWS asked 1,200 adult respondents the question, "Do you think Pres. Noynoy Aquino is serving the interest of the rich, the middle class, or the poor?"

In the survey posted on SWS media partner BusinessWorld early Friday, nearly half or 49 percent of respondents said Aquino was serving the middle class.

Such a figure was down from 52 percent in September 2013. The number of respondents who had this perception was 58 percent in March 2013, 52 percent in March 2012 and 55 percent in September 2010.

On the other hand, 44 percent of respondents perceive Aquino to be serving the interests of the rich, six points up from September.

This was 40 percent before March 2013, 27 percent in March 2012 and 23 percent in September 2010.

Also, the SWS survey showed only two out of five or 40 percent said Aquino was serving the interests of the poor.

This figure was down from the 51 percent last September, 48 percent in March 2013, and 48 percent in September 2010. But it was higher than 35 percent in March 2012.

Inclusive growth

In a text message to GMA News Online, however, Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said inclusive growth is the primary objective of the Aquino administration.

"This is sought to be achieved on a platform of good governance that seeks to level the playing field and enforce justice for all, without fear or favor. We seek to promote and enhance the spirit of bayanihan and solidarity among Filipinos, regardless of economic standing," he said.

By regions

The SWS said that in Metro Manila, 51 percent believe Aquino is serving the middle class; 50 percent said the rich, and 34 percent saying the poor.

In Balance Luzon, 47 percent believe Aquino served the interests of the rich, 44 percent the middle class and 40 percent the poor.

In Visayas, 52 percent believe Aquino was serving the middle class, 41 percent the poor, and 39 percent the rich.

In Mindanao, 53 percent believe Aquino was serving the middle class, 43 percent the poor, and 41 percent the rich.

Satisfaction rating

Aquino's net satisfaction rating was also higher among those who said he was looking after the interest of the poor more--"very good" +60 (75 percent satisfied, 15 percent dissatisfied).

Those who perceived the President serving the middle class more gave a "very good" +58 (72 percent satisfied, 15 percent dissatisfied) rating.

It was also higher than those who said he was serving the rich at a "moderate" +28 (57 percent satisfied, 30 percent dissatisfied).

Sampling error margins were at ±3 percent for national and ±6 percent for area percentages. — with a report from Kimberly Jane Tan/ELR/KG, GMA News

20% of Filipinos see cronyism as ‘very serious’ under PNoy – SWS April 22, 2014 6:09am 65 36 0 153

One out of five Filipinos still considers cronyism a "very serious" problem under the watch of President Benigno Aquino III, according to a new poll by Social Weather Stations.

The SWS poll asked the question, “Cronies are those who use their friendship with the President to enrich themselves in improper ways. How serious in your opinion is the cronyism in the present administration?”

The poll found that 20 percent of respondents considered cronyism "very serious," the same level as in March 2012 and higher than the 19 percent in November 2010.

Around 40 percent said cronyism was “somewhat serious,” higher than the 37 percent in March 2012 but lower than the 44 percent in November 2010.

About 17 percent said cronyism was “a little serious” while 22 percent said it was “hardly serious.”

“(But) the public’s perception of cronyism in the present administration had no correlation with their satisfaction with the performance of Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III as president,” the SWS qualified.

The Palace responded to the poll results Tuesday, and during a press conference, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Aquino administration has always been against cronyism.

"That’s why the position of the President has been we will free agencies of regulatory capture. That has always been the position taken by this administration," he said.

The survey was taken from March 27 to 30 and had 1,200 respondents. Sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national and ±6 percent for area percentages applied to the survey.

The SWS said it first started asking the question of cronyism in September 1999 during the term of then President Joseph Estrada.

By region

In Metro Manila, 22 percent believed cronyism was “very serious” under Aquino’s presidency. This was “barely changed” from 22 percent in 2012 and higher than 21 percent in 2010.

In Balance Luzon, 21 percent believe cronyism was “very serious,” lower than 22 percent in 2012 and higher than 16 percent in 2010.

Of the respondents from Visayas, 18 percent believed it was "very serious," higher than 13 percent in 2012 and lower than 22 percent in 2010.

Meanwhile, in Mindanao, those who consider cronyism "very serious" hardly changed at 20 percent, from 22 percent in 2012 and 19 percent in 2010.

Other administrations

When the SWS first asked about cronyism during Estrada administration, 27 percent of respondents then said cronyism was “very serious.”

This rose to 30 percent two months later, declined to 26 percent in March 2000, 21 percent in June 2000 and 20 percent in September 2000. However, it rose to 30 percent at the end of 2000.

From September 1999 to December 2000, those who said cronyism was “somewhat serious” under Estrada ranged from 33 to 44 percent.

In January 2001, at the start of the Arroyo administration, the SWS asked respondents a slightly different question: “Cronies are those who use their friendship with the president to enrich themselves in improper ways. In your opinion, what is the possibility that cronyism will be widespread under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?”

Seventeen percent said it would “definitely happen” while 47 percent replied “probably will happen.”

About 26 percent said this “probably will not happen” while 9 percent said it “definitely will not happen.”

In February 2001 the second part of the question was revised to “How serious, in your opinion, will cronyism be in the Arroyo administration?”

Of the respondents, 22 percent said it would be “very serious” while 41 percent said it would be “somewhat serious.” About 21 percent said it is “a little serious” while 14 percent said it is “hardly serious.” — Joel Locsin/DVM, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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