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GMA sees improvement in Duterte’s approval ratings

By BEN ROSARIO

Former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday predicted an improvement in the public approval ratings of President Rodrigo Duterte notwithstanding a double digit decline in the recent Social Weather Station survey.

In a statement, Arroyo was clearly speaking from experience as she stressed that the rise and drop in a chief executive’s public approval rating are natural events that occur during one’s term as chief executive.

During her eight year term as chief executive, Arroyo saw her poll survey results for public confidence and popularity rating make several upswings and plunges.

“The President has started several historic initiatives that too will comprise his real legacy,” she said.

Arroyo stated that she was referring to Malacañang initiatives on comprehensive tax reform, infrastructure build out, Charter change, and securing and rebuilding Marawi city.

“All of them can produce major changes early enough to improve his ratings by early next year,” the Pampanga lawmaker said.

A close ally of the Duterte administration, Arroyo explained that approval ratings are usually dependent on how people view the country’s leaders at a particular time.

“The rise and drop in a President’s approval ratings are bound to happen in the course of his/her term. It is part of the territory. It reflects the pulse of the people at a particular time,” she stated.

According to her the drop that is similar to what was reflected of Duterte in the most recent SWS survey “does does not mean erosion of public support but merely a sentiment on particular policies.”

“But the job of a president is not to make popular decisions. He should make decisions for the greater good though unpopular,” Arroyo pointed out as she described the plunge in Duterte’s ratings as a mere “blip”.

She added: “I had to endure this process myself when I made tough and unpopular decisions that ultimately redounded to the common good.”

Arroyo, in an apparent counsel to Duterte who once served as among her closest advisers during her presidency, said she responded to negative poll survey ratings and criticisms from critics by simply “focusing instead on performance, performance, performance.”

“It was my intention to leave a real legacy of achievement, because it was only the judgment of history that mattered to me,” the third termer Pampanga lawmaker stated.

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