Archive for the ‘survey’ Category

Falling ratings of Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo

March 16, 2009

It comes less of a surprise for the public to know that Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo (GMA) gets bad ratings for her work in the executive office. According to the survey on February 20 to 23, 2009 by the Social Weather Station Inc. (SWS,) her disapproval rating fell further to a net rating of negative (-) 33 (26% satisfied and 59% dissatisfied.)

“The President’s latest net satisfaction rating is lower compared to “poor” -24 percent (29 percent satisfied, 53 percent dissatisfied) in December and poor -27 (27 percent satisfied, 54 percent dissatisfied) in September.”—-Philstar (03/17/09, Sy, M)

More than half of the Filipinos don’t approve of GMA’s performance, in spite of Malacanang’s wish that the president be given appreciation for unrecognized “accomplishments.” Pres. Spokesman Lorelei Fajardo cites Arroyo’s work of insulating the country from the impacts of domestic and global economic crisis.

Many Filipinos feel this is untrue because the full blown effects of the financial crisis are yet to come. Even without the global crisis, the Philippines has been reeling in widespread poverty with about 40% of the population facing hunger each day. Her approval rating has been bad compared to past presidents Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada. With the presidential election coming in 2010, the public appears to extend their patience for GMA,—opting to let her corruption-riddled government to pass. (Photo Credit: AP/ Aaron Familia)=0=

RELATED BLOGS: “Corruption scandals hurting Filipinos under Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo” Posted by mesiamd at 1/29/2009; “Not as a lecturer or as a judge,” EU thinks RP must do more to curb corruption Posted by mesiamd at 1/29/2009; “Corruption and apathy: where will these lead us?” Posted by mesiamd at 2/10/2009

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Obama gets a low grade from Wall Street economists

March 13, 2009

Midway thru Pres. Barack Obama’s post-election 100-day honeymoon period is an erosion of popularity. In spite of his “heroic” effort in trying to steer the US to the “right “ track, the new president gets a failing grade of 59% from majority of 49 Wall Street economists polled. According to the Wall Street Journal Survey, financial thinkers are dissatisfied with Obama’s economic policy. The Dow Jones fell close to ¼ of its value at the 7 weeks of his administration.

Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner who assumed his position in the Obama cabinet in spite of evading to pay taxes has a poor grade of 51%, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke scored better, with an average 71.

The changing result augurs badly for Obama who has enjoyed extraordinary popularity before and after the election. The high expectation is there, but he is tumbling down from the sky putting down his public approval to about 60%—quickly in just a few days. Considering the media’s slobbering love and public admiration for Obama, the downward trend of his approval rating is unexpected.

It’s a concern that Americans who disaprove of his policies are rising. The trend is a significant negative twist on how the public perceives his performance even if he was heralded as the hero who’ll deliver America and the world from economic woes. There is strong doubt if Americans can spend their way from bankruptcy by borrowing at the expense of current tax-payers and the next generation.(Photo Credit: tsevis) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Fearless economic forecasts” Posted by mesiamd at 3/11/2009

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Survey says a rising number of Americans have “no religion”

March 11, 2009

The poll made by Program of Public Virtues of Trinity College in Hartford, CT between February and November last year reported that only 76.7% of Americans identified themselves as Christians, a 9.5% decline from the 86.2% in the 1990’s. Most of the attrition comes from non-Catholic denominations. The percentage of Catholics has significantly increased in the Southwest, greater than in the Northeast, shifting attention to the needs of Hispanics in the Roman Catholic Church.

Additional findings of the American Religious Identification Survey include:
1. Americans claiming “no religion” is up from 8.8% in 1990 to 14.2% in 2001 and 15% in 2008
2. Between 2001 and 2008, 4.7 million Americans claimed to have “no religion”
3. Northern New England is ahead of the Pacific Northwest as the least religious section of the country, with Vermont, at 34% with “no religion” leading all other states by 9 points.
4. 90% of the decline among Christians comes from the non-Catholic segment of the Christian population, mostly from mainline denominations, including Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians/Anglicans, and the United Church of Christ. Source: http://usnews.com/ (03/09/0, Gilgoff. D)

This may represent a changing culture—- the rising secularization of United States where having “no religion” has turned to be more socially acceptable than a decade ago. The demographic shift among believers and non-believers may affect the way Americans think, vote, and live on issues like abortion, stem cell research, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and education among others as liberals, leftists, and secular progressives veer away from the Judeo-Christian tradition which is the cornerstone of the moral and cultural values of America since it was established. (Photo Credit emardaalvinbabista) =0=

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Obama addresses congress for the first time

February 25, 2009

Pres. Barack Obama at present enjoys high level of public support optimism and confidence. Americans badly needs him at this time even if political trust doesn’t necessarily translate to economic confidence. The stock market for the last month continues to flounder in spite of the change Obama has been pursuing.

Those badly hurt by the economic downturn watch silently where the recovery program will go. Rightly so, it is early to give in to pessimism, but there is a cause for concern.

Those with money are afraid to invest—the stock market behaves erratically as if to suggest that something isn’t right. It is expected to go for undetermined amount of time in spite of the bold assurances of Obama. People badly affected by the financial crisis are confused, some can’t get over their shock on what’s going on.

Opinion on B. Obama:

——————————–Approve———–Disapprove——–No Opinion

His job as president————63%—————–22——————-15
Foreign Policy——————-57%—————–17——————-26
The Economy——————-57%—————–32——————–11
Iraq Situation——————–54%—————–24——————–22
Source: New York Times (02/23/09, Zeleny, J; Thee-Brenan, M)

On Tuesday, February 23, at 9PM eastern time, Obama will address the joint congress. He enjoys strong political clout with about 2/3 of the American people supporting him. A rising number however is skeptical. In spite of the benefit of the doubt, many are struggling to fend off their ambivalence. There are those who feel they’re practically on their own, without much reason to believe the government will look after them since their finances have been ruined by mismanagement. They can’t take the thought of bailing out irresponsible Americans in cahoots with unscrupulous bank lenders who bought homes beyond their means.

Obama’s Disapproval Rating Doubles

According to a recent Gallup poll, Obama’s new disapproval rating rose from 12% last month to 24% this month. This is 50% higher than the 16% average for a month-old new presidency. —-Los Angeles Times ( 02/24/09, Malcolm, A)

Americans really can’t be too trusting these days, not even with Obama’s popularity. Words cannot change reality. Sixty (60%) of the public worries that someone in the family will lost a job in the coming months or the next year. Fifty-five (55%) of the Americans says they are just trying to make ends meet. While Americans are under no illusion to believe that the economic problem will die down soon, it’s unclear if they who are extravagant and used to good life can weather the turbulence of the recession.

In spite of the media’s overwhelming biased adulation for Obama (as described in Bernard Goldberg’s book “A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media “)it is still the truth that matters. People can’t live with the promises and eloquent words of a president, they need to see tangible results, especially those who put their reliance on the government to solve their problems. (Photo Credit: Alex Johnson)=0=

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Filipino hope & optimism

February 1, 2009

If only to prove that Filipinos are among the “happiest” people in the world, the poll by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) conducted last December shows that our kababayans are as optimistic as ever. Despite the gloomy picture of the economy, about 30% of Filipinos expect things will get better in the next 12 months. The positive outlook eases the worry at the time when the country was celebrating the Christmas holiday and the coming new year.

Economic pessimism, meanwhile, remained high in Metro Manila, worsening to -37 from -33. It eased to -21 from -28 in the Balance of Luzon, to -13 from -17 in Mindanao, and -15 from -18 in the Visayas. It eased to -8 from -22 among the class E; to -22 from -30 among the ABC classes; and stayed at -24 among class D, the survey found.—GMATV.News (02/02/09)

The basis of the bright outlook which rose 4% percentage points from three months ago is unclear. The government attributes the people’s hope to resiliency. Palace officials say the poverty-alleviation programs set up by the administration are giving the people some breather.

Yet, since economic hardship still remains high and indicators don’t generally support bullish confidence in the country, cultural and psychological factors may be at play to influence the survey’s optimistic result.

We rightly laud our innate positive mentality which helps us cope with the economic crisis. But we have the temptation to look at reality in a blurry prism, sometimes with a tinge of “denial.” Our country is mired in a protracted “crisis” which makes it tempting to rest painful issues at the back-burner. Perhaps, the survey should not bring us that much of hope if we understand our situation more. (Photo Credit: Usman Farooq)=0=

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Obama’s popularity plunges from 83% to 68% a few days after assuming presidency

January 27, 2009

If only to augur the things that are to come, in less than a week Pres. Barack Obama’s approval rating dropped by 15 points. From a sky-high 83%, the new score fell to 68%. The long honeymoon predicted for the widely popular president is challenged by the worsening outlook of the economy.

The patience of the American people may not hold in spite of the dramatic changes Obama offers the public. Abandoning some blind credulity, supporters are now looking closely at the programs and plans the administration is selling the nation. Bashing the past administration, there is effort to paint a rosy liberal governance to replace the old. But it seems inadequate in reversing the public’s lack of trust.

According to the Gallup poll, the drastic fall of Obama’s support suggests the herculean task and towering expectation the president is facing. His words and actions are under urgent scrutiny as dark clouds threaten to choke the immediate future of the country.

In spite of the media’s commitment to bring the glib president in the best light, there are many Americans who feel wary. They see something corrupt and negligent. For being remiss of their duties, politicians and community leaders aren’t as trustworthy as before. And it is causing a toll on Barack Obama.(Photo Credit: Sebastian Niedlick/ Grabthar; Spudart) =0=

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“Filipinos rated most committed to work”

January 27, 2009

The “employee engagement” is supposed to be a measure of “commitment” and “drive” of a worker to achieve a company’s goal. It runs high among Filipinos. That’s according to a recent survey conducted on workers of some top corporations in the country by Watson Wyatt, a global consulting agency. At 77%, the employee engagement for the Philippines has improved from by 4% since 2007. The score is good among countries of the Asia-Pacific region!

Beating of China (66%,) India (75%), Indonesia (71%,) Thailand (72%,) and Malaysia (67%,) RP’s laudable score appeared in the Philipine Daily Inquirer (01/27/09, Dumlao, D)— a business news item entitled “Filipinos rated most committed to work.”

I find the report flattering. Only the workers of top corporations have been included in the poll. The survey outfit admits there are no international standards to determine the socio-political and cultural factors that are unique for each country which may influence the score. Such limitations hardly dispel the doubts of readers.

Whatever this survey is worth, I like to know if there is any difference in the score of workers in the public sector compared to those who are in the government. It would have been better if all in the labor force (not only the corporate employees) were represented in the survey. It would have been more revealing if those in the farms and those employed abroad were included. The result might be more accurate in characterizing the “commitment” of the entire Filipino labor force. (Photo Credit: Bikoy; Neil Alderney 123)=0=

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GMA’s ditch-low approval rating, her kiddie “payback package" for OFW’s & a big store in Naga City rises

December 17, 2008

Negative (-30)

President Gloria M. Arroyo gets the lowest satisfaction rating in 2008, much lower than the (-)9 she got the year before. The Social Weather Survey (SWS) result from the 4th quarter poll at the end of November is thought to be bad. It attests to the unpopularity of the administration that’s wracked by corruption and nepotism, believed to be worse than that of Ferdinand Marcos.

Unresolved issues like joblessness, floundering economics, the Bolante fertilizer scam, Euro generals money laundering case, unabated maritime disasters, journalist killings, charter-change controversy, poor education and healthcare, Mindanao secessionist problem, CARP extension, unimplemented cheap medicine law, and the big C (Corruption) noticed by watchers abroad are in the long list of problems that stun the public.

P1.4 trillion

It’s the 2009 national budget which is approved in the second and last deliberation in the senate. Notable in the budget are less allocations for the Department of Agrarian Reform by P3.1 billion, Energy P61 million, Finance 13 million, Local Governments P436 million, Justice P215 million, Armed Forces P75 million, Public Works P3.4 billion, Social Welfare P243 million, and National Economic Development Authority by P25 million. The budget cuts on certain services are allocated in other areas. A P10 billion economic fund is being considered, but no appropriations are set aside for the Office of the Press Secretary, the Philippine Tourism Authority and Kilos Asenso.

4,000

SM, the large monopolistic mall-chain owned by business mogul Henry Sy, Sr. in the Phiippines, is making preparations to open its outlet in Naga City on March 2009. About 4,000 job-seekers are needed in the operation which is estimated to generate $12 million in wages and P40 million in taxes. Expected to compete with small stores of the area, SM may draw shoppers in neighboring towns.

The exact effects of such a huge business in the city of 160,000 people aren’t completely known. Will there be congestion in the city? Will money windfall benefit the Bicolanos? Will profits be carted away from the area and render the mom-and-pop stores struggling to survive? Did the Naga City officials do a thorough study on the cost-benefit of approving an SM store?

50,000

As a result of the global economic crisis, the number of Filipinos abroad expected to be laid off has increased. Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo has laid out a “payback package” assistance for retrenched overseas foreign workers (OFW’s,) a tepid offering of skills training, scholarships, and measly P10,000 ($200) to start a “business” upon their return to the country.

15,000

Participants of the Manila’s anti-charter change (cha-cha) rally were larger than expected, according to Makati mayor Jejomar Binay, the president of the United Opposition. More protests against Cha-cha and other frustrating issues are on the works with broadened support from various organizations. (Photo Credits: gmaresign; doublefault2; arty; gmaresign=0=

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