Duterte’s 91% highest since Sept. 2016; drop in Mindanao within margin of error

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 06 October) – Despite what critics say is a disastrous handling of the COVID-19 crisis, President Rodrigo Duterte’s trust and performance ratings rose to 91% nationwide in September 2020, his highest among 15 Pulse Asia surveys conducted since September 2016, and  at par with the July 2016 start-of-his-administration survey.

Released on Monday, results of the Sept. 14 to 20, 2020 survey of Pulse Asia Research show that Duterte’s trust rating rose from 83% in December 2019 to 91% in September 2020 and his performance rating from 87% in December to 91% in September.

But while Duterte’s trust ratings increased in the National Capital Region (NCR) from 78%  to 90%,  Balance of Luzon (BL) from 75% to 89% and the Visayas from 89% to 94%, Mindanao’s trust in the country’s 16th President and first Mindanawon to lead the nation dropped by three percentage points from 98% in December to 95% in September but still well within the ± 5.7% margin of error.

“The changes in trust and performance ratings in MIndanao for Duterte are marginal, within the margin of error from survey  to survey,” Ronald Holmes, President of Pulse Asia Research, told MIndaNews.

Mindanao, which has consistently given Duterte high ratings since 2016, gave him 95% in September 2020 and the highest performance rating at 97%, down by one percentage point from 98% in December.

Duterte’s performance rating went up in the NCR (78% to 88%), BL (83% to 88%)  but fell although only by one percentage point, in the Visayas (93% to 92%) and Mindanao (98% to 97%).

In Pulse Asia’s September 2019 survey, Duterte’s trust rating nationwide was 74% while his performance rating was 78%.

Courtesy of Pulse Asia
Courtesy of Pulse Asia

Pulse Asia’s September 2020 survey had a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years and above, using face-to-face interviews.

Vice President Leni Robredo’s trust rating nationwide went down by 3 percentage points from 53% in December 2019 to 50% in September 2020.

Robredo’s trust rating rose from 32% to 44% in the NCR and 50% to 66% in the Visayas but went down in the BL (60% to 50%) and Mindanao (54% to 40%).

Her performance rating nationwide fell by one percentage point from 58% in December to 57% in September.

It rose in the NCR (44% to 48%) and the Visayas (54% to 67%) and dropped in the Balance of Luzon (63% to 56%) and Mindanao 59% to 54%).

In the September 2019 survey, Robredo’s trust rating nationwide was 46% while her performance rating was 50%.


In an interview by anchors Tony Velasco and Danny Buenafe over On The Spot/Teleradyo on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque attributed Duterte’s high ratings to what he described as “record-breaking ‘ayuda’” (assistance) of 200 billion pesos for the poor and the continued distribution of the 4Ps assistance; on the government interventions to help those who lost their jobs or small businesses; and because “sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, napakalaki talagang halaga na galing sa kaban ng bayan ang binigay natin sa ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng pandemya” (for the first time, government gave away so much money for our people during the pandemic).

Roque also said that in a pandemic, people need a strong leader, “not wishy-washy.”  He also said people were aware that Duterte really focused on COVID. 

All-time high since Sept. 2016

Duterte’s trust and performance ratings in the September 2020 survey were the highest since September 2016.

His trust ratings nationwide rose to 91%, surpassing his 89% in September 2017; highest also in NCR at 90%, surpassing his June 2019 record of 83%; highest in the Balance of Luzon at 89%, six percentage points higher than  previous highest of 83% in June 2018;  and in the Visayas at 94%, two percentage points higher than his previous record of 92% in June 2018.

Mindanao’s highest trust rating for Duterte was 98% in December 2019. It dropped to 95% in September 2020.


His performance ratings in September 2020 were also all-time high nationwide since four years ago, at 91%, in NCR at 88% and Balance of Luzon at 88%. Visayas’ rating of 92% is one percentage point lower than the December 2019 rating of 93% while Mindanao’s 97% rating is two percentage points lower than the June 2018 record of 99%.

In the 15 Pulse Asia surveys conducted since September 2016, Duterte’s performance ratings averaged 82.7% nationwide, 76.9% in NCR, 77.4% in Balance of Luzon, 87.1% in the Visayas and 93.4% in Mindanao.

His trust ratings averaged 81.9% nationwide, 75.9% in NCR, 75.2% in Balance of Luzon, 85.9% in the Visayas and 93.2% in Mindanao.

Trust ratings and expectations, July 2016

A Pulse Asia nationwide survey on July 2 to 6, 2016 on the Filipinos’ trust in their top three officials and Filipinos’ Expectations of the New Administration showed 91% for Duterte, 62% for Robredo and 35% for then Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno.

Duterte’s trust rating in the NCR at the start of his term in July 2016 was 92%, 89% in the BL, 89% in the Visayas and 97% in Mindanao.

Robredo’s trust rating in the NCR in July 2016 was 65%, 58% in the BL, 72% in the Visayas and 61% in Mindanao

Duterte’s trust ratings nationwide (91%) and in the Balance of Luzon (89%) in 2016 would be replicated four years later, in September 2020.

Robredo’s highest in Visayas

Pulse Asia’s surveys in September and December 2016 were only on Presidential  Performance and Trust ratings. Surveys on the performance and trust ratings of the Vice President and three other top officials started in March 2017.

Robredo’s trust rating nationwide for the 13 Pulse Asia surveys since March 2017 averaged 53.7% nationwide, 41.2% in NCR, 53.8% in Balance of Luzon, 52.8% in Mindanao and Visayas giving her the highest rating at 62.5%.

In the 13 surveys, Visayas also gave Robredo her highest rating at 76% in September 2018. Her highest nationwide was 60% in June 2017; in the NCR at 47% in September 2017; 66% in the Balancre of Luzon in June 2017; and 60% in Mindanao in June 2018.

Visayas gave Robredo the highest performance rating in the 13 surveys, at 65.9%.

Visayas also gave Robredo the highest performance rating of 80% in September 2018, followed by Mindanao’s 73 in June 2018, Balance of Luzon’s 66  in June 2017, the nationwide rating of 62% in June and December 2018 and the National Capital Region’s 58% in June 2018.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)