Pulse Asia: Highest approval rating of Filipinos to Duterte administration amidst 'War on Drugs'

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — If there's one thing the Duterte administration does best, it is fighting criminality.

That's the view of majority of Filipinos, according to a private pollster.

A recent Pulse Asia survey shows the government scored the highest approval rating for its efforts in suppressing crime, compared to other issues of national concern.

Some 84 percent or eight in 10 respondents said they approved of the administration's fight against crime. Only four percent said otherwise, for a net approval rating of +80. Some 12 percent were undecided.

Pulse Asia interviewed 1,200 adults for the nationwide poll, which was conducted December 6 to 11, with a margin of error of ±3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Results were released Friday.

The Duterte administration also received the public's nod for its work relating to these urgent national issues:

Responding to disasters - 80 percent
Fighting graft and corruption - 76 percent
Protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers - 75 percent
Achieving peace in the country - 72 percent
Stopping the destruction and abuse of the environment - 69 percent
Enforcing the rule of law - 69 percent
Defending the Philippines' territory - 65 percent
Creating more jobs - 58 percent
Improving the workers' pay - 57 percent
Reducing poverty - 51 percent

However, fewer Filipinos (44 percent) approve of the government's initiatives in curbing inflation or the increase in the prices of goods and services. Some 20 percent disapprove, for a net approval rating of only +24.

Six-month deadline not a factor

Public approval of President Rodrigo Duterte seems unscathed even after he failed to fulfill his campaign promise of ridding the country of criminals in six months.

He later asked for an extension, saying he did not realize the country's drug and crime problems were so severe.

Data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) show the volume of crimes in the Philippines dropped 31 percent in Duterte's first five months in office, compared to the same period in 2015.

The Duterte administration has also received local and international criticism for its bloody war on drugs. Some 2,230 drug suspects have been killed in police operations since Duterte assumed the presidency in July 1, police data show.

But as far as recent nationwide surveys are concerned, the Duterte government has maintained the trust and approval of majority of Filipinos.

Pulse Asia also noted that the positive public perception of the government's performance remained constant in September and December, when its most recent surveys were conducted.

CNN Philippines