Aquino seen as pro-middle class

File photo of Philippines' President Benigno Aquino.

MANILA, Philippines - About one in two Filipinos (49 per cent) perceive President Benigno Aquino to be serving the interests of the middle class, according to recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The survey, conducted from March 27 to March 30, also showed that 44 per cent see Aquino as serving the interests of the rich, while 40 per cent said he served the poor.

The survey asked respondents: "Do you think President Aquino is serving the interests of the rich, the middle class or the poor?" They were allowed multiple responses.

"The proportion of those who said President Aquino is serving the interests of the poor fell by 11 points from 51 per cent in September 2013 to 40 per cent in March 2014," the SWS said in a statement.

Compared to the previous quarter, the proportion of those who said the President serves the rich rose from 38 per cent to 44 per cent.

The percentage of those who perceive the President as serving the interests of the rich has steadily risen through the years-it was 23 per cent in September 2010, 27 per cent in March 2012 and 40 per cent in March 2013.

Meanwhile, the proportion of those who said the President served the middle class went from 52 per cent in September last year to 49 per cent in March. It was at 55 per cent in September 2010, 52 per cent in March 2012 and 58 per cent in March 2013.

The sentiment that the President served the interests of the middle class was the dominant response in Mindanao and the Visayas.

In Mindanao, more than half (53 per cent) of respondents said the President served the interests of the middle class, while 43 per cent said he served the poor and 41 per cent the rich.

In the Visayas, 52 per cent said he served the middle class, while 41 per cent said he served the poor and 39 per cent said he served the rich.

In Metro Manila, nearly the same proportion said he served the middle class (51 per cent) and the rich (50 per cent), while only 34 per cent said he served the poor.

In Luzon outside Metro Manila, the most common answer was that the President served the interests of the rich (47 per cent), while 44 per cent said he served the middle class and 40 per cent said he served the poor.

Net satisfaction with the President's performance was higher at plus-60 (75 per cent satisfied, 15 per cent dissatisfied) among those who perceived him as serving the interests of the poor.

It was at plus-58 (72 per cent satisfied, 15 per cent dissatisfied, correctly rounded) among those who said he served the middle class, and at plus-28 (57 satisfied, 30 per cent dissatisfied, correctly rounded) among those who perceived the President as serving the interests of the rich.

The SWS first implemented the question in February 2001, and found 47 per cent saying then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo served the interests of the poor. It was at 48 per cent in March 2001 before it fell to 35 per cent in July 2001, 37 per cent in September 2001, 38 per cent in June 2002, 25 per cent in September 2003, and 19 per cent in September 2007.

Those who said Arroyo served the interests of the middle class was at 43 per cent in February 2001, 44 per cent in March 2001, 49 per cent in July 2001, 42 per cent in September 2001, 41 per cent in June 2002, 33 per cent in September 2003, and 31 per cent in September 2007.

On the other hand, those who said President Arroyo served the interest of the rich was at 39 per cent in February 2001 and 38 per cent in March 2001, before spiking to 52 per cent in July 2001. It was at 51 per cent in September 2001, 58 per cent in June 2002, 65 per cent in September 2003 and 59 per cent in September 2007.

The latest survey, conducted from March 27 to March 30, used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adult respondents and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

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