MANILA — The recent surveys by private pollster Pulse Asia have debunked the “fabricated and false” narratives against President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said on Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement as he noted that the Palace welcomes the results of Pulse Asia’s December polls, which showed that 87 percent of Filipinos approved of Duterte’s performance and 93 percent of Filipinos are welcoming 2020 with hope.

When it comes to Duterte’s approval score, Panelo said it only demonstrates that Filipinos are “united” in supporting the President and his administration’s programs that seek to uplift the “social and economic condition of the masses of our people.”

“The Chief Executive’s stratospheric approval rating is unprecedented. History tells us that no President has passed the midpoint of his presidential term with such a high approval rating. It has always been a downtrend. President Duterte overcame this trajectory. The disapproval rating has been reduced to a measly five percent,” the Palace official said in a statement.

“This latest approval rating is a clear repudiation of the fabricated tale and the false narratives of the haters of the President including the foreign entities that have joined the fray with blinders in their eyes,” he added.

The results of Pulse Asia’s survey this month found that Duterte’s approval rating climbed by nine notches to 87 percent in December from 78 percent in September.

The government would continue working harder, especially since “genuine, meaningful, and positive” change is being felt by the majority.

-Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesperson

“This recent survey mirrors and measures the performance of this Administration. It signifies that almost all Filipinos – with more than 8 out of 10 of them – feel that there has been a genuine, meaningful and positive change in almost every aspect of society, as solemnly committed by PRRD during the campaign in 2016,” he said.

“President Duterte, with the entire Executive Department, will continue to work, unmindful of the laurels he is reaping in terms of the people’s acceptance until his last day in office to serve and protect the interest and welfare of the Filipino people,” Panelo added.

Filipinos can expect “happy, peaceful, successful” 2020

Reacting to Pulse Asia’s survey on the high number of hopeful Filipinos in the coming 2020, the Palace official said they can expect that more policies and programs will be implemented next year.

His assurance came after Pulse Asia’s Dec. 3 to 8 poll revealed that 93 percent of Filipinos want to welcome 2020 “with hope,” higher than the 91 percent registered in December 2018.

“Filipinos indeed have so much to look forward to in 2020 under the current administration,” Panelo said.

“As we enter the new year, this Administration remains confident that our people will continue to rally behind the government towards genuine change as we wish each Filipino a happy, peaceful and successful 2020,” he added.

Panelo said 2019 even served as an “exemplary year” for the country.

The President has invested in his political capital “wisely,” after heeding the recommendation of his economic team to push for “difficult but game-changing” reforms like the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law and the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, Panelo said.

Panelo said such initiatives are important in achieving the current administration’s goal of bringing a “more comfortable life for all Filipinos.”

“Last April, we received a BBB+ investment rating (a notch away from A rating and the highest credit rating the Philippines has received) which is an expression of confidence on the leadership and administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he said.

Panelo also bragged that the Duterte government is making headway in its poverty alleviation efforts, citing the Philippine Statistics Authority’s report which showed that poverty incidence dropped to 16.6 percent in 2018 from 23.3 percent in 2015.

“This means that 5.9 million Filipinos were lifted out of poverty,” he said. “Even the President’s harshest critics cannot deny that the number of poor Filipinos declined faster than expected in the last three years.” (PNA)

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos / PNA