Gov’t pandemic response approval rating down by 30% in September - OCTA survey

Some people in Divisoria, Manila are no longer wearing face shield on Nov. 8, 2021, the same day the City of Manila scrapped the face shield policy except in hospital and other medical facilities. (Photo by Noel B. Pabalate)

The approval rating of the government’s pandemic response dropped by 30 percent in September, based on the results of a survey conducted by the OCTA Research at the height of the recent surge in infections.

According to the results of its “Tugon ng Masa” poll, which was conducted from Sept. 11 to 16, OCTA said that Filipinos’ approval rating of the government’s handling of the pandemic dropped to 50 percent.

This is equivalent to a 30 percentage points decrease from an approval rating of 80 percent in the July 2021 survey, OCTA fellow Professor Ranjit Rye said.

He pointed out that the drop was most significant in Balanced Luzon and in Metro Manila, which was experiencing a surge in cases due to the highly infections Delta variant at the time that the survey was conducted.

It was on Sept. 11 that the country logged a record-high of 26,303 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number of new infections reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

Out of the 1,200 adult respondents, only 17 percent indicated that they “truly approve” of the government’s efforts—a 13 percentage points drop, while 33 percent said they “somewhat approve”—a 17 percentage points decrease.

The poll results also showed that 6 percent of those surveyed said they “truly disapprove”—an increase of 5 percentage points, while 17 percent indicated that they “somewhat disapprove”—up by 11 percentage points.

On the other hand, 27 percent of the respondents were undecided, a 14 percentage points increase compared to the results of the July survey.


Approval rating down across all areas

Metro Manila saw the biggest drop in approval rating at 49 percentage points, from 87 percent in July down to 38 percent by September.

In Balance Luzon, the approval rating declined by 37 percentage points, from 83 percent in July to 46 percent in September.

Moreover, approval rating in Visayas decreased by 30 percentage points, from 65 percent to 35 percent, while the rating in Mindanao also dropped by 6 percentage points, from 84 percent to 78 percent.

Drop in ratings due to surge

Rye attributed the drop in the government’s pandemic response approval rating to the recent surge in cases driven by the Delta variant.

“It was really the surge, the great Delta surge, that started in the latter part of July, that is the major cause for the drop,” he said.

“Now that we have dealt with it, and we’re opening up, and that the situation has been managed not just in the NCR but for the rest of the country, we expect that the rating for government response will go up,” he added.