BBM approval ratings down


In the March 6-10, 2024 Pulse Asia survey, the approval and trust ratings of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. (BBM) fell dramatically, an early indication of popular dissatisfaction with his performance, his policies and his recent decisions.

In early March this year, BBM enjoyed an approval rating of 55%, a trust rating of 57% and distrust rating of 15%.

BBM’s 55% March 2024 approval rating is 13 percentage points lower than his December 2023’s 68%, a 19% decline, in just three months.

That’s a significant if not a substantial loss of public approval. And with a margin of error of 2.8%, 55 could actually be 52.2%. Barely more than half (52.2%) of Filipinos approve of BBM’s performance today.

More significant than the approval is the disapproval rating, which rose 11 percentage points from just 9% in December 2023 to a double-digit 20% in early March 2024.

The number of people dissatisfied with the President’s performance more than doubled, in less than three months, up a whopping 122%.

Assuming 78 million adult Filipinos (out of 115 million people), 20% of them being dissatisfied is equivalent to 15.6 million Filipinos, up from 7 million in December 2023, in less than three months. A year ago, in March 2023, Marcos Jr. was enjoying stratospheric approval ratings – 78%.

This made him among the world’s three most popular leaders. His disapproval was minuscule, just 5%.

 BBM’s approval ratings are in steady decline – 78% in March 2023, 65 in September and 68 in December. 

Disapproval, on the other hand, is on an upward swing – 5% in March 2023, 10 in September, 9 in December and 20 in March 2024.

Disapproval quadrupled in just one year, from 5% to 20%. In millions of adults, 5% was equivalent to 3.9 million dissatisfied; 20% is 15.6 million, four times as many. From March 2023’s 78% approval rating to March 2024’s 55 approval rating, BBM’s approval fell by a third or 29%, equivalent to nearly 23 million adult Filipinos.

To be sure, Vice President Sara Duterte’s approval ratings also fell significantly in the past one year, from a hefty 83% in March 2023 to just 67%, a drop of 16 percentage points or by 19%.

The Veep’s approval ratings have been steadily declining, 83 in March 2023, 73 in September, 74 in December 2023 and 67 in March 2024.

Why the rising dissatisfaction with the performance of our top officials?

Simple answer: little has changed. Prices remain high, especially of prime commodities, especially rice, fish, meat and vegetables. Corruption is rampant. Red tape is crippling. In the national capital, traffic is hellish and horrendous.

Traffic is not the word. It is parking. Thousands of vehicles are parked in most hours of the day on major highways of Metro Manila. A two-kilometer distance takes you 30 minutes in the city. Your dog walks faster than your car.

The Management Association of the Philippines has asked the President to declare a state of traffic emergency. I do not know what good that will do, except to give the impression something is being done about traffic.

Nothing is being done. Have you ever dealt with your barangay to get a permit? Facing the devil might be a more savory experience. At least, the devil is entertaining. Dealing with barangays is no fun at all, especially if you are a businessman seeking a permit or a homeowner wanting to install an electric meter in your house.

Nationwide, the LGU executives – the mayors and governors – run their local governments like these were their private fiefdoms. They can do no wrong and they cannot dish out permits – unless you come across.

The current food poverty is the highest since BBM assumed the presidency. If 12% of Filipinos have nothing to eat, that means millions are malnourished.

If you are malnourished, you brain does not grow, does not function. The effect is stupidly.

Mass stupidity. No wonder in international tests for reading, math and science given 15-year-olds from around the world, Filipino teeners scored either next to last or last.

Filipinos are the most stupid young people on earth.

 The national Social Weather Survey of December 8-11, 2023, found that 12.6% of Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger – being hungry and not having anything to eat – at least once in the past three months. (See pages 24-33)

Compared to September 2023, hunger rose by 2.8 points from 9.8%. This brings the 2023 annual hunger rate to 10.7%, 1.0 point below the 11.7% average in 2022 but 1.4 points above the pre-pandemic 9.3% average in 2019.

A 12.6% involuntary hunger nationwide means 3.15 million families or 12.6 million Filipinos who have nothing to eat.

This is in a country where there are at least 16 dollar billionaires, per Forbes magazine. The 25.5% self-rated food poverty is the highest since BBM assumed the presidency.