Approval ratings of the government’s top officials, including President Rodrigo Duterte, have risen significantly because the top concerns of the populace––better wages, the prices of basic goods, and jobs––are being addressed under the leadership of the President.

This according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who on Sunday said the nine-point uptick in the President’s approval ratings validate government figures that reflect the positive impact of government programs aimed at improving salaries, reining in inflation, and generating jobs.

“This is an indicator that government programs targeting the poor are hitting their mark.

“Historically, surveys––including the one conducted right before the SONA (State of the Nation Address) in June––consistently show that the top concerns of our people are higher wages, the prices of basic commodities, and jobs,” said the Palace official.

“In connection with this, recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) show that the Duterte Administration has made significant progress in these three areas,” stressed Nograles.

According to the former lawmaker from Davao, “the President’s approval ratings help validate these numbers, and tell us that the people are feeling the positive effects of government programs and projects.”

Earlier this month, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) issued its preliminary report on the official poverty statistics of the country. PSA data revealed that the mean salaries and wages for the population went up by 22.8% to P156,114 in 2018 from P127,122 in 2015. 

“We have 1.3 million new jobs and 2.3 million fewer unemployed Filipinos.”

“For those in the lower 30% of the population, on the other hand, mean per capita income increased by 31.87%. This is an indicator that government programs targeting the poor are hitting their mark,” explained Nograles.

“As for prices, inflation in November was at 1.3%––and our economic managers expect them to remain within the target of 2% to 4%,” added the cabinet official.

Nograles said that insofar as jobs generation is concerned, NEDA Sec. Ernesto Pernia recently reported that the country’s unemployment and underemployment figures are at their lowest in 14 years, with unemployment at 5.1% and underemployment at 14%.

“We have 1.3 million new jobs and 2.3 million fewer unemployed Filipinos. This means we are also on track to keep unemployment within the 4.7% to 5.3% range, consistent with the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan,” Nograles said.

“Now, close to nine out of 10 of those surveyed say they are happy with the performance of the administration, because they know this firsthand: Duterte delivers.”

Nograles said that while the approval ratings are welcome news, “at the end of the day, the numbers that matter to the President are the figures that show that our countrymen are employed, are paid well, and can afford their basic neccessities.”

The latest Pulse Asia survey conducted from December 3 to 8 shows top administration officials all enjoying significant jumps in their approval ratings. President Duterte has the highest approval ratings, with 87% of those polled saying they approve of his performance. He is followed by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, with approval ratings of 84% and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, at 80%. 

The President’s approval ratings are up by nine points compared to his numbers September this year. His approval ratings in the E class remained steady at 84%, while they jumped 10 points in the D class and 14 points in the ABC class. 

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