Almost three in four Filipinos continue to trust and approve of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s performance, despite several issues plaguing the country, Pulse Asia said in its latest survey.

In a poll conducted from February 24 to March 6 this year—with at least 1,200 respondents aged 18 years old and above—Pulse Asia said 74 percent approve of Aquino’s performance in the past three months.

Some seven percent of the respondents disapprove of Aquino’s performance, while almost one in five Filipinos are undecided.

Meanwhile, according to the poll, a huge majority of Filipinos continue to trust Aquino, with at least 69 to 84 percent trusting him from all geographic areas; and 71 to 78 percent from the socioeconomic classes.

Pulse Asia noted that less than one in ten Filipinos or six percent do not trust the president.

Although the approval and trust ratings decreased by five percentage points and the disapproval and distrust ratings went up by four percentage points, Pulse Asia said there wasn’t a significant change.

“No significant changes in the performance and trust ratings of President Aquino occur between October 2010 and March 2011—at the national level and in all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings,” Pulse Asia said.

On the other hand, out of 11 national issues on which the Aquino administration is performance rated, only three issues registered majority approval ratings: fighting graft and corruption (56 percent), fighting criminality (54 percent), and improving the national peace situation (53 percent).

Aquino has been president for almost nine months now.

Palace pleased

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Palace welcomes the good survey results and they will use it as “a challenge for us to do better.”

“This shows the public continues to believe in his leadership,” added Lacierda.

Lacierda noted that the survey was conducted after Aquino’s controversial Porsche purchase.

It may be recalled that Aquino drew flak for buying a pre-owned 2007 Porsche in January, amid the country’s deepening poverty crisis. While his allies claimed Aquino bought the car from his personal funds, critics said it was untimely for the Philippine president to buy a luxury car.

“He was being hit left and right but the public didn’t believe that [criticisms]. Public continues to believe in the President,” Lacierda told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in a phone interview.

Crucial issues

Pulse Asia noted of the following issues at the time the survey was conducted:

1. The impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez at the House of Representatives.

2.  The congressional investigations into the plea-bargaining agreement entered into by former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Comptroller Ret. Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, as well as the alleged corruption involving former high-ranking military officials per the testimonies of former AFP Budget Officer Ret. Lt. Col. George Rabusa and former COA Auditor Heidi Mendoza.

3. The diplomatic row between the Philippines and Taiwan over the deportation of 14 Taiwanese nationals to China.

4. Government efforts to save three Filipinos facing execution in China for drug trafficking.

5. The commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution.

6. The evacuation of Filipinos in Libya amidst the ongoing civil unrest in the country.

7. The earthquake in New Zealand that took the lives of several Filipinos.

8. The replacement of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary, the confirmation of some presidential cabinet appointees, the proposed filing of administrative charges versus the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief for alleged complicity in the failed takeover of the LTO’s information technology systems contractor Stradcom in December 2010 and the appointment of a new AFP Chief of Staff.

9. The continuing increase in the prices of petroleum products and the prices of other commodities.

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