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MANILA – Pulse Asia research Inc. President Ronald Holmes is standing by the integrity of a recent survey which showed that nine of 10 Filipinos approved the performance of President Rodrigo Duterte amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Holmes said he respected how some Filipinos may not agree with the results of the non-commissioned Pulse Asia survey conducted from Sept. 14 to 20 this year.

“Sa pagsasagawa ng aming pananaliksik, naniniwala kami na ang bawat isa ay may karapatang maghayag ng kaniyang opinyon maging ito’y naniniwala o hindi sa survey, bahagi iyan ng opinyon na aming kinakailangang galangin (In conducting our research, we believe that everyone has the right to express their opinion whether they believe in the survey or not, that is part of the opinion that we need to respect),” he said in an interview over DZMM on Saturday.

He assured critics that the Pulse Asia researchers have secured the integrity of the survey from any external influence.

“Sa aming panig, sa loob nang higit sa dalawampung taon, kung kami’y naniniwala na ang pagsasagawa ng survey ay naaayon sa nararapat na pamamaraan at may integridad iyong proseso at ito’y hindi naapektuhan ng sinuman (For our part, for over 20 years, we believe that the survey was conducted in the proper manner and that it was done with integrity and that it has not been influenced by anyone),” he added.

Holmes said it was the mandate of Pulse Asia to release the survey results even if they did not always agree with them.

“Wala kaming kadahilanan para hindi ilabas ang resulta ng survey kahit na kami mismo ay hindi sumasang-ayon sa naging resulta ng survey. Kung kami’y sumasang-ayon o hindi sumasang-ayon, nasa aming responsibilidad na ihayag kung ano ang paniniwala ng mamamayan sa partikular na panahon at ang amin lang sinasabi (We have no reason not to release the results of the survey even if we ourselves do not agree with the results of the survey. Whether we agree or disagree, it is our responsibility to express what the people believe at a particular time and what we just say),” he said.

According to Holmes, Duterte’s rating was similar to the rating the President received when the former mayor of Davao City started his presidency in July 2016.

“Iyong nauna naming media release ay nagpapakita na nobenta’y uno porsiyento ang nag-aapruba at nagtitiwala sa Pangulo, halos parehong level ng class noong nagsimula ang Pangulo ‘no noong July 2016. Parang nanatili lang ang performance rating niya kumpara noong December ngunit may bahagyang pagtaas ng trust rating ng pangulo (Our previous media release shows that 91 percent approve and trust the President, almost the same level of class when the President started in July 2016. It seems that his performance rating has remained the same compared to December but there is a slight increase in the president’s trust rating),” he said.

He said the survey results could be attributed to how the respondents believe that Duterte and his administration has met their expectations.

“Maraming kadahilanan iyan, maaring sabihin natin na natutugunan niya ang ekspektasyon ng mga mamamayan. Para sa mga kritiko ng pamahalaan, sinasabi na ang ekspektasyon na iyan ay maaring mababa lamang, ito’y ang pagpapasaayos lamang ng ating bansa (There are many reasons for that, we can say that he meets the expectations of the people. For government critics, it is said that that their expectation may be low, it’s simply how our country is being managed),” he said.

Holmes said the survey results also showed that the respondents have different bases for measuring their trust in Duterte and his administration.

Meanwhile, he also defended the integrity of the survey which showed that 84 percent of Filipinos have a “positive opinion” about the work done by the Duterte administration to control the spread of Covid-19.

“Sa palagay ko dahil sa krisis na nagaganap, ito’y hindi lamang sa ating bansa kundi sa buong daigdig ay alam ng mamamayan na ang pandemya ay mahirap talagang mapigilan at itong Covid-19 ay malawakan ang maaaring maging paglaganap (I think because of the ongoing crisis, it is not only in our country but worldwide, the people knew that the pandemic is really difficult to contain and this Covid-19 could have massive effect),” Holmes said.

He said the people may have also appreciated the government’s efforts to control the infections amid predictions that the Covid-19 cases would hit more than 500,000 by September. As of Oct. 11, health authorities have recorded 339,341 cases and 293,075 of them have recovered already.

“Siguro nakita ni mamamayan bagama’t hindi nila alam kung ano ang bilang, bagama’t maaring sila’y nangangamba na medyo naghigpit na rin doon sa pagkilos ng mga mamamayan at itong paghihigpit na ito ay bahagi na lang ng inisyatibo para mapigilan ang paglaganap noong Covid-19 (Maybe the people saw it even though they did not know what the number was, although they may be worried that it was a bit restrictive in the actions of the people and that this restriction was just part of the initiative to prevent the spread of Covid-19),” he said.

The Pulse Asia survey also showed that Duterte received a 91 percent trust rating in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pollster said only 5 percent of Filipinos disapproved of Duterte’s performance while 5 percent were undecided. Likewise, only 3 percent did not trust the President while 6 percent were undecided.

The same Sept. 14-20 survey also revealed that 84 percent of Filipinos approve of the Duterte administration’s Covid-19 response. Only 6 percent disapproved of the administration’s response while 10 percent were undecided.

Malacañang thanked the public for the high performance and trust ratings they gave to the President, saying the government will continue to work to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus in the lives of Filipinos. (PNA)

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