JULY 13, 2006 (STAR) By Paolo Romero - Favorable opinion poll results or not, President Arroyo will just continue doing her job, Malacañang officials said yesterday. But they did point out that Filipinos are beginning to notice that her administration is getting results.

Public satisfaction with Mrs. Arroyo’s performance has climbed up several notches to a net satisfaction rating of -13 percent, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) second quarter survey for this year showed.

"While still negative since the third quarter of 2004, the President’s rating has gone up in the past two quarters, from -30 percent in December 2005 and —25 percent in March 2006," the SWS said in a statement.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye and Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Mrs. Arroyo remains focused on governance and on the "aggressive and strong-willed implementation of our political and economic reform agenda."

"President Arroyo is inspired by all the Filipino people, whether they agree with her or not, and she is bent on addressing the pressing issues of poverty, security and the rule of law with consistent vigor and determination," Bunye said.

"Whatever the polls say, they will always be a signal for the administration to work harder to advance the welfare of the people to a higher level," he said.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the people are beginning to appreciate Mrs. Arroyo’s efforts to improve the economy and the welfare of Filipinos despite the continued destabilization efforts by her opponents, that is why her ratings are beginning to improve.

He said the economic figures are "OK" and security forces were able to thwart a new threat against the administration with the arrest last week of six fugitive renegade military officers. He said even Mrs. Arroyo’s successful foreign trips did not go unnoticed.

"All these I suppose were taken into consideration by those who were surveyed and they can see that the President is a very effective leader of our country and therefore it merits some positive reaction on the performance of our President as leader of our country," Ermita said.

The non-commissioned survey found that Mrs. Arroyo’s net satisfaction scores rose in most areas of the country except in Metro Manila, where it declined from -37 in March to a new record low of -48 in June. The net rating was obtained by subtracting the percentage of dissatisfied respondents from satisfied respondents.

In the Visayas, Mrs. Arroyo’s net rating recovered to 2 percent in June from —12 percent in March.

In the rest of Luzon, Mrs. Arroyo’s net score became "less unfavorable," from -23 in March to -13 percent in June, while in Mindanao, it rose to -7 from —32 percent.

Respondents from among the "masa" were less unsatisfied with Mrs. Arroyo’s performance, with her net satisfaction rating among the D class going up from —22 percent in March to -10 in June and, among the E class, from -33 to —22 percent.

However, her net score declined among the ABC classes, from -17 in March to —27 percent in June — the second-lowest on record after her —34 percent score in December 2000 and May 2005.

The SWS second quarter survey for 2006 was conducted from June 22 to 28, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults divided into random samples of 300 each from Metro Manila, the Visayas, Mindanao and the rest of Luzon. The error margin was plus or minus three percentage points for national percentages and plus or minus six percentage points for area percentages.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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