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When ‘Good’ doesn’t mean bad: SWS president says Duterte’s honeymoon period ain’t over yet despite ratings drop


President Rodrigo Duterte’s may have set a new record low with his +45 net satisfaction rating in June, but the public’s so-called “honeymoon period” with him isn’t over yet.

Social Weather Stations (SWS) president Mahar Mangahas on Saturday (July 14) said Duterte’s net satisfaction rating, which SWS defines as “good,” still falls under what it considers a honeymoon period.

“A net rating of Good, or better, is critical since it is how SWS defines a honeymoon period. The period also includes Very Good (+50 to +69) and Excellent (+70 and up). Thus, Mr. Duterte’s honeymoon persists, and at the two-year mark has exceeded the honeymoons of Erap Estrada (1 year) and Gloria Arroyo (none),” Mangahas explained in his column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Nevertheless, he said there is nothing special about Duterte’s honeymoon period since those of former President Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Benigno Aquino III lasted 2-1/2 years, 2-1/4 years, and 3-1/2 years, respectively.

The SWS survey conducted from June 27 to 30 showed 65 percent of the respondents were satisfied with him while 20 percent were unsatisfied. The pollster arrived at the net satisfaction rating by subtracting the percentage of those who were dissatisfied with the President from those who were satisfied with his performance.

Despite the double-digit drop in Duterte’s ratings, Mangahas said SWS does not consider +45 a bad number.

“We use ‘Bad’ for the range of -30 to -49. This makes Bad symmetric to Good. Similarly, Very Good means from +50 to +69, and Very Bad means from -50 to -69,” he said.

Mangahas said that in the SWS’ entire survey history, Cory was the only president who ever rated as “Excellent” (+72 in October 1986). Duterte’s personal record high was a “Very Good” +66 in June 2017.