POSTSCRIPT / March 8, 2020 / Sunday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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972 Filipinos rate Duterte ‘excellent’

SOME 972 of the 1,200 adult Filipinos (or 81 percent) that the Social Weather Stations claimed to have interviewed last year gave the Duterte administration an “excellent” satisfaction rating, translated by the SWS to a net grade of +73.

The “excellent” net satisfaction rating of +73 may have come one-quarter late, but that did not stop the Duterte administration from exulting in the SWS report on its survey conducted Dec. 13-16 last year.

The SWS reported that 81 percent of the 1,200 adults it interviewed said they were satisfied with the administration, with only seven percent saying otherwise, leaving a net satisfaction score of +73. The remaining 12 percent were “neither satisfied nor dissatisfied,” the SWS said.

The 1,200 respondents represented adults in the national capital, 81 provinces, 146 cities, 1,488 towns and 42,036 barangays. They spoke for the 100-plus million Filipinos spread over various age groups, geographical regions, and economic strata.

Explaining his “Excellent!” reaction, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said: “The President has been very transparent and he’s been very decisive. He only has the public in mind to provide comfortable life… and create an atmosphere of peace and progress for this country, regardless of the criticisms, the hurt coming from them, he doesn’t care.”

Out of 16 key issues where the administration was rated, it received Very Good scores in seven subjects, Good in six, and Moderate in three.

The SWS’s “Governance Report Card” showed the administration getting net satisfaction rating of Very Good on: helping the poor (+64), fighting terrorism (+61), providing information needed by the citizens to properly examine what the government is doing (+58), having clear policies (+56), developing a healthy economy (+53), reconciling with Muslim rebels (+51), and protecting the freedom of the press (+50).

It was Good on: fighting crime (+49), reconciling with communist rebels (+48), foreign relations (+47), acting according to what the people want (+45), defending Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea (+32), and eradicating graft and corruption (+31).

It obtained Moderate on: ensuring that no family will ever be hungry (+29), recovering hidden wealth stolen by Marcos and his cronies (+25), and fighting inflation (+12).

It rose from Very Good to Excellent on fighting terrorism, +49 to +61; developing a healthy economy, from +48 to +53; reconciling with Muslim rebels, from +40 to +51, and protecting press freedom, up slightly from +47 to +50.

It stayed Very Good in helping the poor, up slightly from +62 to +64, providing information needed by citizens to properly examine what the government is doing, from +54 to +58, and having clear policies, +53 to +56.

It remained Good in reconciling with communist rebels, +38 to +48; foreign relations, +39 to +47; fighting crimes, +43 to +49; defending Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea, up slightly from +30 to +32; acting according to what the people want, +44 to +45 and eradicating graft and corruption, down slightly from +32 to +31.

 If pleasant dreams could come true

BACK in our small town in Pampanga where things moved ever so slowly, dreams (paninap) were useful mostly in giving us tips on what jueteng pair of numbers to bet on.

Since the advent of cellphones, money-laundering and power politics that altered the face of small-town lottery, however, dreams have taken on additional uses – including explaining ailments and divining the future.

Like some time ago, I dreamt I was on a bus on EDSA crawling northbound in Cubao. There was a commotion at the back with a woman screaming “holdup! holdup!” In my rush to the door up front, I missed my step and tumbled.

It turned out I was actually falling — off my bed! The comforter cushioned my fall, but my head still hit the floor. X-ray and MRI showed no bone injury, but I had to undergo physical therapy for my neck spasm and my head’s tending to droop to one side.

There had been times when I dreamt of chasing bag snatchers, this time in Quiapo, and losing them in the crowd, also of tailing a gang’s getaway vehicle but losing control of my car whose brakes always refused to respond at the critical moment.

(A little footnote: I nearly became a policeman in my younger years when I topped the CSC exam for Manila patrolmen. Before I could enlist, however, the Manila Times editor snapped me up me as a reporter to cover, of all things, the diplomatic beat!)

But it was not all cops and robbers in my usually action-packed nightmares. Last Tuesday (March 3, mark the day!) I had a more pleasant vision.

In my dream, we had a house near the public elementary school where I graduated decades ago. There was a very commodious room dominated by long tables with chairs around them. On the wall hanged maps, large photos and infographic materials. Near the sink at the far end were a microwave oven, a well-stocked refrigerator and a water dispenser.

In my dream, a number of students dropped in after class like they were coming home and sat at the tables to work on their stuff. They were not as quiet and as formal as when in a library, but they were respectful.

The house help saw to it there were biscuits and other items for them to munch. They had their own cups for drinking. They knew the house rules, such as not to be noisy and rowdy. They dropped their litter in the trash bin and pushed back their chairs before leaving the table.

More important to me was that sometimes I got the chance to talk to them, helping with questions whether related to school subjects or not. That made me feel good. And relevant.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of March 8, 2020)

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