Duterte admin sees popularity dip on inflation worries

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Filipinos queue to catch a glimpse of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Singapore, April 28, 2018. (Reuters/Feline Lim)

MANILA — Public satisfaction with the performance of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s government fell in the first quarter from a record high in December, partly pulled down by a poor score on fighting inflation, a private pollster said on Friday.

Duterte’s administration received an overall “very good” net satisfaction rating of +58 percent, down from December’s “excellent” level of +70, according to the March 23-27 poll by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The December rating was the highest on record since SWS began conducting opinion surveys in the 1980s.

The latest poll showed 69 percent of adult Filipinos were satisfied with the government’s overall performance, down from 79 percent in December.

Eleven percent said they were dissatisfied, compared to a previous nine percent.

The administration scored the lowest when it came to fighting inflation, which reached its highest level in at least five years in April.

The country’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate on Thursday for the first time in more than three years in a move to contain inflationary pressure.

Duterte’s government won it’s highest marks for helping victims of disasters. While there was no major natural disaster in the first quarter, a few typhoons caused flooding in some areas and the eruption of the country’s most active volcano in January displaced thousands of Filipinos.

The first quarter poll mirrored a similar decline in the firebrand leader’s trust rating, which fell to “very good” in March from “excellent” in December. — Editing by Darren Schuettler