In response to a statement by deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte that media projection is the reason for the drop in President Aquino’s satisfaction rating, Kabataan Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino today said that it is the inept policies of the Aquino government that should be blamed.
“It is President Aquino’s bad policies which caused his ratings to drop, not the media or lack of publicity. President Aquino’s failure to address the basic needs of the people is correlative to his satisfaction rating. Amidst price hikes, low wages, joblessness, dwindling funds to social services and so on, an increase in rating is far from what the Palace should expect,” Palatino said.
In the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, the satisfaction rating of Aquino dropped by 13 points from +64 in November 2010 to +51 in March 2011. SWS underscored Aquino’s controversial Porsche purchase as one among the major factor for the dip in public satisfaction.
“To appease the public, President Aquino and his clique of communication experts would repeatedly justify the Porsche purchase by saying that he used his own money for it. That makes it even worse and much more distasteful. Marami ang walang trabaho at hindi alam kung saan huhugitin ang kanilang panggastos tapos ‘eto ang ating Presidente magsasabi na ok lang na bumili siya ng mamahaling sports car bilang meron naman siyang pera,” Palatino said.
“Does it not occur to the President that he further insults the people, especially the poor, every time he’d remind us that he used his money for the Porsche? One, the reminder only highlights that his privileged status is far from the common people. Two, instead of being politically incisive, he passes off the jarring inequality between the rich and the poor as a natural and acceptable fact of life,” he added.
Palatino furthered that the President’s insensitivity extends beyond the Porsche purchase. He cited as one among many instances Aquino’s recent pronouncement of a P500-M oil subsidy in light of the incessant oil price hikes.
“The P500-M oil subsidy is a band-aid solution that obviously sides with the interest of the oil cartel, not with the long-term welfare of the people. Instead of pushing for the nationalization of the oil industry and regulating the greed of oil companies, President Aquino came up with this rather incompetent measure to supposedly cushion the impact of the oil price hikes. The subsidy won’t solve anything, not to mention that the amount is loose change compared to the billions of daily profit of ‘the big three’,” Palatino said.
Palatino also sniped at spokesperson Valte’s remark that the the dip in rating signals for the Palace the need to be more aggressive in boasting the accomplishments of the Aquino government through the media.
“It is not an issue of being more aggressive in boasting. Valte’s trapo line of thinking misses the point and very much resembles the logic of the Arroyo goverment. President Aquino should focus on properly and substantially addressing the urgent needs of the people,” Palatino said.
“Running a country is not show business. It is ultimately the social policies effectuated by President Aquino which will matter. But based on what’s happening now, it appears that the change he promised means harsher living conditions for the people. There can be no change as long as President Aquino implements the same old policies of the Arroyo government. He should not be surprised when, in the near future, he’ll end up to be more unpopular than the president he replaced,” Palatino said.