Malacanang, sour-graping on consistently low satisfaction ratings?

When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2002 got a high approval rating for her government’s fight against corruption, she was ‘very happy’:

“President…today expressed elation over the high sincerity rating given her administration by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in fighting corruption during its recent survey.”

“I am very happy that it is recognized,” the President said when asked about her reaction to the SWS sincerity rating…”

Former Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao once said that “polling is an important tool for assessing the sentiments and perceptions of our people.”

Barely seven years since that positive rating about Malacanang now comes a news on high dissatisfaction rating on the President.

“Pulse Asia’s February 2009 Ulat ng Bayan Survey found that 46 percent of Filipino adults are dissatisfied with Mrs. Arroyo’s performance, the same rating the President garnered in the last survey conducted in October 2008.”

In connection with Pulse Asia’s survey on the President, Ibon had a survey on whether the President should be removed from office. The survey said: “7 out of 10 Filipinos want GMA removed as President”.

On Ibon, I’m sure that if Tiglao were the same spokesperson today, he would have a rehashed official tirade at Ibon like that in 2002.

For sure, GMA is “not very happy” about the Pulse Asia’s survey despite the efforts that her government has exerted to win back the people’s hearts and minds.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde claimed: “In these times, it is not about being popular but about being right as in the case of the tough fiscal reforms the President had instituted at great personal political cost.”

But Deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo in a separate news maintained that “there is no accurate method of measuring perceptions and as such, the results of the surveys, such as the latest released by Pulse Asia on the performance and trust rating of the President, could not be used as a definitive gauge by the public.”

In a seeming turnaround from high praises of opinion polls to dismissing polls as inaccurate measures of public trust, is Malacanang sour-graping? PR mill must work doubly hard. It’s high time that President Arroyo commissioned studies on her positive side.

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