AQUINO'S SATISFACTION RATING 'GOOD' DESPITE CALAMITIES
President Benigno S. Aquino III’s satisfaction rating remains “good” even after the series of catastrophes that racked the country in the last quarter of 2013, the latest Social Weather Stations survey results showed. Net satisfaction ratings of +70 and above is classified by SWS as “excellent;” +50 to +69, “very good;” +30 to +49, “good;” +10 to +29, “moderate;” +9 to -9, “neutral;” -10 to -29, “poor;” -30 to -49, “bad;” -50 to -69, “very bad;” and -70 and below, “execrable.” Meanwhile, in Metro Manila, the President’s net rating dropped to a moderate level at +22 from “good” +38 last September. With regard to rural net rating, it went up to +58 from +52 previously, while urban net rating plunged to +42 from +47 three months ago. However, it declined to +45 from +52 among the masa or class D.
ALSO: Aquino seeking peace and quiet in ‘City of Pines’
President Benigno Aquino III on Friday began his three-day vacation in search of “peace and quiet” after a year of “overlapping disasters.” Mr. Aquino is vacationing in the mountain resort city of Baguio where, according to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, he will spend “quality time” with people close to him. “Finally, [the President] is able to heed Dr. Enrique Ona’s long-deferred wish of seeing him take time to relax in an off-work setting after a series of overlapping disasters,” Coloma said. Ona, the secretary of health, had prodded the President to take some rest—if possible, once every three months—as the problems of the country and other concerns of the presidency were taking a toll on his health.
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Aquino’s satisfaction rating ‘good’ despite calamities
Manila Bulletin AT THE MOVIES — President Aquino carries child star Ryzza Mae Dizon as they pose with (from right) presidential sister Kris Aquino and her sons Joshua and James after watching ‘My Little Bossings,’ the box-office leader on opening day of the Metro Manila Film Festival, the other day. (Malacañang Photo Bureau)
MANILA, DECEMBER 23, 2013 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Ellalyn B. De Vera and Madel Sabater-Namit - President Benigno S. Aquino III’s satisfaction rating remains “good” even after the series of catastrophes that racked the country in the last quarter of 2013, the latest Social Weather Stations survey results showed.
In the nationwide survey conducted December 11-16, 69 percent of Filipinos said they are satisfied with President Aquino’s performance in the past three months, while 21 percent claimed otherwise.
This brings the net satisfaction rating of the President to “good” +49 (percentage of satisfied minus dissatisfied).
In Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda welcomed the latest SWS survey, adding in a statement, “The results of the Fourth Quarter 2013 Social Weather Survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations make it evident: The Filipino people continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Aquino administration.”
“In lieu of the usual naysayers trying to promote the impression that there is a general dissatisfaction among the Filipino people, the survey shows that an overwhelming majority in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, as well as a healthy majority in Metro Manila, are solidly with the President,” Lacierda said.
He said: “These past few months, the President has had to make tough but necessary decisions on issues of serious national concern, such as the conflict in Zamboanga City, the earthquake in Bohol, and, most recently, the preparation and response to super-typhoon “Yolanda.”
“These results serve as a reassurance: The Filipino people, who he has constantly referred to as his strength, continue to stand behind him. They believe in his leadership, founded on efficiency, firmness, and foresight,” he added.
The Palace official thanked the Filipino people for once again proving that they are for true public service and “are unswayed by mere politicking.”
“Their discerning facts from spin means the momentum of inclusive growth and change will continue unabated as we enter the final stretch of the President’s term,” Lacierda said.
Palace Assured Filipinos
He also gave assurances the administration will “continue working overtime to propelling our country along the path to recovery and, ultimately, to unprecedented prosperity.”
“Surely, with the belief and the participation of the Filipino people, we cannot fail,” Lacierda said.
In the third quarter SWS survey, President Aquino also got a +49 net satisfaction rating. His highest net satisfaction rating this year was at +64 in June.
The President’s highest net satisfaction rating so far is at +67 in August 2012.
The fourth and last round of survey for 2013, which used face-to-face interview of 1,550 respondents, was conducted after a powerful earthquake struck Bohol last October 15 and the devastating super typhoon Yolanda occurred last November 8.
The results were first published in BusinessWorld last Monday.
According to SWS, the +49 rating of President Aquino was unchanged from satisfaction rating in the third quarter.
Net satisfaction ratings of +70 and above is classified by SWS as “excellent;” +50 to +69, “very good;” +30 to +49, “good;” +10 to +29, “moderate;” +9 to -9, “neutral;” -10 to -29, “poor;” -30 to -49, “bad;” -50 to -69, “very bad;” and -70 and below, “execrable.”
SWS attributed the unchanged net rating of the President by the improvements in Mindanao, the rest of Luzon, and the Visayas, even though there was a sudden drop in his Metro Manila rating.
President Aquino’s net rating improved to “very good” levels in the rest of Luzon (+54 from +52), Mindanao (+53 from +52), and the Visayas (+50 from +48).
Down In Metro Manila
Meanwhile, in Metro Manila, the President’s net rating dropped to a moderate level at +22 from “good” +38 last September.
With regard to rural net rating, it went up to +58 from +52 previously, while urban net rating plunged to +42 from +47 three months ago.
By socioeconomic class, President Aquino’s net ratings increased to +68 from +55 among the upper-to-middle classes ABC. It also increased to +57 from +39 among the poorest class E.
However, it declined to +45 from +52 among the masa or class D.
FROM THE INQUIRER
Aquino seeking peace and quiet in ‘City of Pines’ By Michael Lim Ubac Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:14 am | Saturday, December 28th, 2013
Will he ride a horse this time? In a photo taken during his holiday break last year, President Benigno Aquino III hands P500 to “pony boy” Melchor Baraquio, who rents out horses at Wright Park in Baguio City, as payment for a horse that Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras rode. EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
President Benigno Aquino III on Friday began his three-day vacation in search of “peace and quiet” after a year of “overlapping disasters.”
Mr. Aquino is vacationing in the mountain resort city of Baguio where, according to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, he will spend “quality time” with people close to him.
“Finally, [the President] is able to heed Dr. Enrique Ona’s long-deferred wish of seeing him take time to relax in an off-work setting after a series of overlapping disasters,” Coloma said.
Ona, the secretary of health, had prodded the President to take some rest—if possible, once every three months—as the problems of the country and other concerns of the presidency were taking a toll on his health.
Mr. Aquino personally dealt with a series of disasters this year, among them the attack on Zamboanga City by rebels from Nur Misuari’s faction of the Moro National Liberation Front in September, the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that caused great devastation in Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor provinces in October and the disaster brought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in the Visayas last month.
The President is expected to arrive in Baguio on Saturday but there was no confirmation from Malacañang on Friday whether he would lead the commemoration of Rizal Day there on Monday.
Some Cabinet members and relatives will be with the President during his vacation.
Mr. Aquino also went up to Baguio during the Christmas season last year.
“Knowing the President, he will take advantage of the fact that he has some peace and quiet, but he will still take calls, of course. He will insist on continuing to get updates [from government officials], especially after the [holiday] break,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
One or three days?
“We’re expecting the exodus [of Metro Manilans] for the New Year weekend beginning later this [Friday] afternoon and their return will be on Jan. 1, beginning in the morning. So knowing the President, he will insist on continuing to get updates from [the agencies],” she said.
The President’s decision to take a much-needed break from his official duties was initially marred by confusion arising from the advisories sent out by two Malacañang press officers.
On Dec. 23, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda sent out an advisory through the official mobile phone of the Palace Communications Group that said: “Upon the recommendation from Sec. Ike Ona, the President will take a break from work starting Dec. 27. His break from work will be for the duration of the holiday except he will interrupt his break to pay tribute to Jose Rizal.”
Lacierda’s advisory was followed by another, sent out 30 minutes later by Coloma, which read: “Upon Secretary Ona’s persistent recommendation, the President will take a one-day leave from work on Friday, Dec. 27. He will perform his official duty on Rizal Day, Dec. 30.”
When the Inquirer sought clarification, Coloma said both advisories were correct. The one-day leave pertained to Dec. 27, he said, as there is no need to file for a leave during weekends when government offices, including the Office of the President, are closed anyway.
Change of scenery
If he had his way, Ona would send the President to a weeklong leave once every three months.
“From what I understand… from our discussions, he’s (Ona) always been saying that it would be ideal—[a week’s rest] every quarter [would be ideal],” Valte said.
“[But] that is a luxury that the President does not have, so he will be OK with three days,” she said.
A change of scenery would be good for the President, she added.
Asked if the President, whose bouts of coughing interrupted his speeches in recent weeks, would be undergoing a medical checkup, Valte said: “I would have to ask him. The President gets regular and periodic checkups … He has a schedule for that.”
Aquino finally comes out and hangs out at Baguio’s Wright Park Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:00 pm | Thursday, December 27th, 2012
BAGUIO CITY- Baguio residents’ indifference to celebrities has been good for the summer capital’s Yuletide visitors, like President Benigno Aquino III.
The President had kept his distance from reporters and the public after arriving here on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
After resting at the Mansion House, Aquino was seen in public having dinner at a Japanese restaurant in the Baguio Country Club on Wednesday night, accompanied by Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
But at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, without any announcement, Aquino stepped out of the gates of the Mansion, mingled with tourists and then walked towards nearby Wright Park, a popular spot for horseback riding among tourists and locals.
He was again accompanied by Almendras and Gazmin.
Almendras and female television news reporters rode on horses while the President looked on. Aquino himself paid horse owner Melchor Baraquio P500 for one of the horses.
Baraquio said the horses are usually rented out for P200 each for a 30-minute ride, but Almendras and the reporters just had their pictures taken with the horses.
The President spent 30 minutes at the park, looking at souvenir items on display at Wright Park’s curio shops and allowed tourists to have their pictures taken with him.
“I think nabawasan natin ang stress level ng buong Gabinete ng naandito ako (I think we managed to reduce the stress-level of the whole Cabinet during my stay here)…. I think I will be back in the office on the 29th,” Aquino told reporters.
“So iyong mga hindi nag-file ng leave, magkikita kami (Those who didn’t file their leave, we will meet) on the 29th. Sana naman (I hope) there’s no [reason] for me to call on the Cabinet to handle anything,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong, Cordillera police director, said top police officials have been deployed to keep the President secure, but the job has been easy so far because Aquino had kept a very low profile until Thursday.
The President, he said, has no fixed schedule so policemen should be always on their toes.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan has yet to meet with the President, according to his aides. Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon said he has not scheduled a meeting with Aquino.
To the Baguio public, what draws attention are the security personnel, policemen and television news teams tailing Aquino.
Many of these media personnel from Metro Manila and presidential aides spent the holidays away from their families to follow the President.
Apart from securing the President, local policemen are also busy ensuring the safety of Baguio’s holiday visitors.
City tourism officials have yet to provide figures, but tourists flocked to the summer capital during the Christmas break, crowding local destinations like Burnham Park, Camp John Hay, Mines View Park and Wright Park.
Many of these visitors stayed longer, drawn to the nippy weather as temperature plunged to 11 degrees Celsius on Christmas Eve.
On Thursday, however, the temperature was recorded at a warmer 13.6 degrees Celsius.
Letty Dispo, weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said Baguio temperatures started to climb steadily since Christmas Day, when the mercury registered 12.5 degrees Celsius.
American Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. has also been seen around town. On Thursday, he had lunch with his family at Casa Vallejo’s Hill Station.
Thomas hosted a Christmas thanksgiving at the US Ambassador’s residence in Camp John Hay here last week.
While visiting the Philippine Military Academy last week, Thomas described 2012 as a year of cooperation between the Philippines and United States, which helped each other cope with their respective calamities and tragedies. Typhoon “Pablo” struck parts of Mindanao and the Visayas on Dec. 4, leaving more than 1,000 people dead.
On Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the US, including New York City, killing 149 people and leaving neighborhoods stranded for days with no power, food or fuel.
“We have been able to show our oneness. The Philippines gave assistance to victims of Hurricane Sandy and for that we are deeply grateful. Right now, our USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and the US military are providing assistance to victims of Typhoon Pablo, working shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and NGOs (nongovernment organizations),” Thomas said. Vincent Cabreza, Gobleth Moulic, Desiree Caluza and Frank Cimatu, Inquirer Northern Luzon
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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