Three surveys are front and center in the news today.
The first is the survey on satisfaction and dissatisfaction felt with regards to the President. I’ve come to be convinced by the view of Philippine Commentary that “net satisfaction” ratings are at best, misleading, and in general, a bogus figure. Better to focus on the numbers expressing satisfaction, and then the numbers expressing dissatisfaction, but don’t subtract one from the other. If we build in the plus or minus range for each figure, giving us the minimum and maximum for each, it looks like this:
September last year:
November last year:
A definite improvement for the President. Her best showing since 2004.
The second is the survey of expat attitudes concerning corruption. The usually highly supportive Tony Lopez quotes the President as saying in a semi-one-on-one, the survey is the result of opposition bias among members of groups like Transparency International:
What came out of that effort was the reaction of the President on the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy survey of 1,474 expats in 13 countries.
“[T]he credit ratings are fine. It’s the political analysis [that is unfair],” the President told me. She blamed “opposition people” in a foreign group monitoring corruption across the globe for the negative perception.
“If you look at the ones in Transparency International Philippines, they are made up of opposition people,” she pointed out. Negative reports about the country, she added, were an offshoot of her being unpopular…
…Meanwhile, the President revealed, “Many businessmen have told me this, they have never seen the economy as good as it is now.” She cited examples of what she calls “trophy investments” coming in to build tourism complexes in Manila and the Visayas, investors wanting to buy many of the power generating plants being sold by the state-owned National Power Corp., and the rapid expansion of the call center business with the participation of big companies.
Lopez himself thinks it’s due to a combination of negative reportage from a free media, the ignorance on the part of a minority of well-placed expats, and, well, corruption in the government! Alex Magno says perception is a valid measure of things, and says, we’d better accept that there’s no way to spin a p.r. black eye for the country. The Palace says it’s going to do something about it after the President’s pooh-poohing didn’t get traction.
And of course, there’s Pulse Asia’s survey of senatorial preferences, which I commented on yesterday. Some additional things, though, of interest: see Atheista‘s survey of the results, as well as that of Newsstand and Ellen Tordesillas, who points out the survey shows the effect of nuisance candidates: Benigno Aquino III should really be number 5, and Allan Peter Cayetano, number 2, if there weren’t misleading candidates who “spoiled” some of the responses.
The Manila Times says there are 17 candidates in the running based on the results. Newsbreak points out that the heavy ad spending of Mike Defensor and Prospero Pichay haven’t really helped their poll numbers; the Inquirer, though, points out Defensor has gained 7 points (give or take, as with all surveys, a point or two) but Roco is the biggest gainer. The Inquirer also points out most people taking the survey have 7 names in mind, perhaps another reason the numbers for those taking up the rear appear so fluid.
Jove Francisco recounts the President’s, and the Palace’s, response to all three.
A blip in official relations between the USA and RP has the American ambassador defending her legislature’s right to investigate: Davao Today publishes the testimony of Amnesty International in full, and links to Satur Ocampo’s YouTube statement. Anyway, official American concern over the human rights situation is mandated, apparently, by aid being related to human rights.
Stock market is droopy again (remember the Slate article I linked to? It was prescient: global stocks fell due to US housing jitters). In his column, John Mangun tries to put the whole thing in its proper perspective:
And the effect to the Philippines? If the PSEi holds above the 3,000 level through this Friday, go buy stocks next Monday.
In the punditocracy, my column for today is, Caught in the middle, which makes reference to thoughts discussed in my July 2005 entries in this blog.
As for Billy Esposo, he wonders: what if the NPA resort to terrorism?
The Inquirer editorial is thankful bishops rebuffed Mike Velarde’s wish for a list of candidates to endorse.
In the blogosphere, Patsada Karajaw discusses the senate surveys and some local races; Secret Gospels, Secret Sites writes about an interesting traveling Filipino journal. The Spy in the Sandwich denounces Tim Yap and his hipster attitudes.