OUTGOING President Rodrigo Duterte has maintained his record high performance approval ratings all throughout the six years of his leadership.

The latest Pulse Asia survey showed that Duterte’s performance approval rating is at 73 percent.

He went as high as 91 percent in September and November 2020 despite the effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, especially the quarantine lockdowns to prevent the spread of the virus.

Over the past six years of his term, Duterte’s approval ratings only went 70 percent below in September 2021 where he got 64 percent.

It was during the height of the investigation on the alleged misuse of public funds intended for the procurement of Covid-19 supplies, such as face masks and other personal protective equipment for frontline health workers.

Implicated in the issue were several Duterte appointees.

Duterte’s predecessor, late President Benigno Aquino III, ended his term in July 2016 with a 45 percent performance approval rating. The highest rating Aquino had was 79 percent, which was recorded during the beginning of his term in 2010 and in September 2013.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ended her term with a 16 percent performance approval rating. Her highest performance rating was at 63 percent, which was only in March 2001, shortly after she took the presidency.

Arroyo has been in office from 2001 to 2010.

The biggest challenge faced by the Duterte administration was the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in lockdowns that almost shut down the economy.

At the height of the pandemic, only essential workers, particularly the health workers and those working in the food industry were allowed to go outside their homes.

Following the massive lay-off of workers as various companies shut down and cut down in the number of workforce due to limited business operations, the unemployment rate in the country went as high as 17.6 percent.

Filipinos, especially the poor families who lost their livelihood due to the pandemic, survived by the aid coming from the national government and local government units, either through cash or in kind.

In the first semester of 2021, which covers the period when the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out had just started, the poverty incidence among population or the proportion of poor Filipinos whose per capita income is not sufficient to meet their basic food and non-food needs, stood at 23.7 percent, according to the National Statistics Authority (NSA).

“This translates to 26.14 million Filipinos who lived below the poverty threshold estimated at P12,082, on the average, for a family of five per month in the first semester of 2021,” it said.

In May, the NSA said the inflation rate hit 5.4 percent, the highest since December 2018, two years prior to the pandemic. (SunStar Philippines)