Fulfill campaign promises ally tells President Aquino

May 9, 2011

Mania Bulletin
Mario B. Casayuran and Hannah L. Torregoza
May 6, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — A political ally of President Benigno S. Aquino Friday suggested that his administration should revisit messages and promises he made during his successful campaign for the presidency amid the drop in satisfaction ratings in surveys.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, a ranking official of the Aquino’s Liberal Party, said the Palace should match campaign promises with concrete accomplishments, particularly on stopping corruption and easing poverty.

Pangilinan said the Aquino administration should do a lot of spade work to regain the peoples’ trust in its advocacies and performance.

While an increase in satisfaction ratings is desirable, this is not enough, he said.

The launch of the “Good News’’ website to inform the people of the Aquino administration’s accomplishments is also not enough, he said.

Meanwhile, another political ally, Sen. Francis Escudero, said the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey which showed a sharp decline in the President’s approval ratings was suspicious but he tasked the palace communications team to rectify the situation.

Escudero said the latest poll survey, said to be non-commissioned, showed that while the President satisfaction ratings have slipped, those of his Cabinet members have improved.

The SWS survey conducted between March 4 and 7, 2011 showed the President has a +46 net satisfaction rating, 18 points down from his +64 rating in November 2010.

The same survey, however, showed that the President’s Cabinet secretaries have shown improvements compared to their November ratings.

“This result creates a discomfort. The survey rated the President along with another particular subset, in this case the Cabinet secretaries,” Escudero said.

“What one sub-set does should reflect the other sub-set. But while the President’s men are gaining ground, the President is losing steam. Something is amiss,” the senator said.

Escudero said the survey is “indicative of a trend that is not reflective toward propping up support for the Chief Executive by his officials.”

He noted that while Palace officials continue to downplay the drop in the President’s approval rating, they should not discount the fact that the backbone of the President—meaning his Cabinet members—does not carry the Chief
Executive toward sending the right message across in relation to governance.

“The dip in the President’s rating is a paradox vis-a-vis his official family. While he visibly takes the heat for the flak happening around him, it seems his men take the credit for the good things and good news,” Escudero said.

The senator urged the Palace communication team to strengthen its efforts in propagating the President’s achievements and endeavors of the government for the country and the people.

He also said the communication team should do its best to protect the President “from adverse public opinion.”

“This way, people are assured that their government is sensitive to their needs, their welfare, that their President is on top of these efforts and labor to provide it to them,” he said.

“The system of governance is parallel to communication system, they are two entities that is hard to separate,” he said.

Earlier, the minority bloc in the House of Representatives cited a report of the Washington-based think tank Global Integrity which rated the Philippine government as having weak integrity grade.

The GI report noted that the overall score of the Philippines significantly decreased since it first began its surveys in 2007 as a result of a widening gap between laws and actual implementation.

While anti-corruption legislation is strong, the Philippine government’s anti-corruption agency does not have the ability to effectively deliver, the GI report said.

The minority bloc said the plunge in the Aquino administration’s satisfaction ratings proves that it is losing heavily in its anti-corruption drive despite the “high profile’’ campaign for good governance.

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