Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday that nine out of 10 Filipinos appreciate the government’s efforts in its response to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
He noted that the President’s recent 91 percent rating conducted by Pulse Asia meant that the government made huge strides in the country’s continued battle against COVID-19.
Año pointed out this led more Filipinos to recognize the government’s efforts which include “the dramatic increase in COVID testing capacity, the highest in Southeast Asia, the mega quarantine facilities, the unprecedented Social Amelioration Program for 21 million households across the country, the decreasing trend in COVID cases in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, the huge recovery rate of patients, among many others.”
“The 91 percent approval rating of President Rodrigo Duterte in the latest Pulse Asia survey reflects the people’s trust and confidence in his ability to chart the right course for the country as Filipinos come to terms with the COVID19 pandemic and we begin to reopen and recharge the Philippine economy,’’ te DILG statement noted.
Año added the rise in the President’s trust rating also showed that the “public is more discerning and informed and can look beyond the fake news and disinformation from pundits and critics of the government who are always looking for every opportunity to discredit the government’s efforts.’’
In response to the President’s detractors, Año stressed that no amount of black propaganda ‘’can erase the government response and mitigation programs that had flattened the curve and had reached practically every household in the country.’’
“The people felt and appreciate the overall effort of government, particularly the successful repatriation of a record number of OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) from foreign shores who were ably assisted by OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) and DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and the successful program for locally stranded individuals through the Hatid Tulong program,” Año said.
The Ulat ng Bayan (Report to the People) of Pulse Asia released on Monday was conducted from Sept. 14 to 20 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 Filipino adults 18 years old and above showed Duterte’s approval rating soaring by eight percent from 87 percent in December last year.
The disapproval of the President’s performance was still at five percent with five percent of the respondents still undecided.
Año said the President’s improved rating disproved claims that the pandemic was the “litmus test of his administration’s lack of leadership, planning and coordination among his subordinates in the Cabinet in addressing the pandemic.’’
“On the contrary, it became the rallying point for people to take action and follow the government’s health protocol to prevent the spread of the virus and enable government officials to roll up their sleeves and think of innovative ways to contain the pandemic through the National Action Plan against COVID-19,” he added.
“Now that the people have spoken, I call on the critics of the government to pull your punches and listen to the people,” Año stressed.