ROBREDO, BONGAT LEAD SATISFACTION RATING: Poverty, governance survey in Naga out

By Jose B. Perez, Editor NAGA CITY --- Religion is “very important” in the lives of Nagueños and both Vice President Leni Robredo and Mayor John Bongat enjoy “very good” net satisfaction ratings among their constituents here. These are two of the highlights of the 2017 Third Quarter Naga City Poverty and Governance Public Opinion Poll released here last Tuesday, Sept. 26, by the Ateneo Social Science Research Center (ASSRC) and Ateneo Student Researchers Pool (ASRP) of the Ateneo de Naga University. A great majority, or 83.5% of Nagueños believe in the importance of religion in their lives, according to the survey. During the observance of the Penafrancia fiesta, the poll says, about 6 of 10 Nagueño Catholics participate in the Traslacion (57.3%). On the other hand, less than half, or 43.3%, join the fluvial procession, and only 16.5% attend the mass after the Traslacion. Meanwhile, 35% of Nagueños consider themselves “poor.” This self-rated poverty incidence decreased by about 5% from last year’s 39.8%. Those who are poor perceive themselves as such because they have low income (57.1%), they lack permanent job (27.9%), or eat less than three meals a day (6.4%). Conducted from July 9 to August 11, this year, the 3rd quarter poverty and governance public opinion poll used face to face interview of 400 respondents randomly selected from the voting age population of all barangays in Naga City. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9%. Sixteen student scholars from ASRP conducted the survey, under the guidance by ASSRC. The University Research Council, on the other hand, funded the survey. It adapts the SWS methodology and uses its rating interpretation terminology. Here are the SWS terminology for Net Satisfaction ratings: +70 and above, “Excellent”; +50 to +69, “Very Good”; +30 to +49, “Good”; +10 to +29, “Moderate”; +9 to -9, “Neutral”; -10 to -29, “Poor”; -30 to -49, “Bad”; -50 to -69, “Very Good”; -70 and below, “Execrable”. On the net satisfaction rating of our political leaders, Naguenos gave President Rodrigo Duterte a dismal +3.6 or “Neutral” net satisfaction rating (30.8% satisfied, 27.2% dissatisfied). In contrast, VP Leni Robredo registered a rousing +57.9% or “Very Good” net satisfaction rating (66.6% satisfied, 8.7% dissatisfied). Two of our local leaders, too, were given by their Naga constituents “Very Good” net satisfaction ratings: Mayor John Bongat, with +55.7% (65.6% satisfied, 9.9% dissatisfied) and Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion with +50.4% net satisfaction rating (62.7% satisfied, 12.3% dissatisfied). On the other hand, Congressman Gabby Bordado earned a “Good” net satisfaction ratings among Naguenos at +36.7 (51.5% satisfied and 14.8% dissatisfied). Members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod (city councilors) got their respective “Good” and “Moderate” net satisfaction ratings, with one earning “Neutral” rating. Dr. Jose “Sonny” C. Rañola, a consistent topnotch councilor in the time of then Mayor Jesse Robredo who made a comeback via the 2016 polls, said he is elated by the trust and confidence given him by the public which inspires him to continue to do his best like his colleagues in Sanggunian in achieving more meaningful and honest services to the Nagueños. For his part, neophyte councilor Joselito SA Del Rosario said the favorable ratings given him by the general public further inspire him to be more effective and judicious in delivering services that the Naga constituency needs. Both Ranola and Del Rosario obtained “Good” ratings in the net satisfaction survey, earning 32.5% and 30.7%, respectively. The city councilor with the highest “Good” satisfaction rating is Cecilia ‘Nene’ de Asis who has a net rating of 46.1% Cutting of trees This one may not be good news to Naga’s so-called “green warriors.” More Naguenos (48.5%), according to the same survey, favor cutting of trees and demolishing houses and other structures within the road right of way to facilitate road widening while 31.8% want to save them. This resulted to “moderate” or +16.7%, net agreement rating. Meanwhile, more than half of Naguenos (62%) agree to the demolition of obstructive houses and structures. This resulted to “strong” +44.2% agreement rating where only 17.8% disagreed. Quality of life On the quality of life, almost half of Naguenos (45.5%) admit that their lives improved compared to the past 6 months, while one out of six (15.8%) says it worsened. This reveals a net personal optimism of only +29.7%. But more than half (53%) anticipate better quality of life in the next 6 months while only few (4%) anticipate worse. This finding resulted to a “very high” net personal optimism of +49%. For Naguenos, the median poverty threshold, or the amount of monthly income for an average household so that it may not be considered poor is P20,000, an amount unchanged or as it was hoped for or estimated since last year. In terms of food security, 3 out of five Naguenos (60.2%) consider themselves as food secure. This figure improved by 5.9 percentage points from last year’s 54.3%. More revealing survey data About two-thirds (2/3) of Naguenos (64.8%) agree that the traffic situation in the city is a problem. It reported a +46%, or a “strong” net agreement rating. To solve the problem, Naga residents recommend road widening or more road projects (18.1%). However, the survey shows that Naguenos seem to have opposing views on whether to remove or reduce traffic lights (13.1%) or install more traffic lights (10.8%). In the same quarterly survey, it was shown that 91.3% of Naguenos are aware of the smoking ban. But of those aware, 74.2% observe that the ordinance is not being strictly followed. The survey further shows that decline in crime incidence has been attributed by the city residents to greater police visibility and effort (23.8%), anti-drug campaign (19.7%) and fear of the Duterte administration (17.7%). Both the national government’s and the city government of Naga’s campaign against illegal drugs recorded “moderate” net satisfaction rating (14.5% and 11%, respectively). Meanwhile, a quarter of the survey responders (25%) have admitted to have read, watched and heard about the tax reform package of the Duterte Administration. They are particularly aware of realignment of tax benefits (28.3%), imposition of higher excise and commodity taxes (14.1%), sin tax on cigarettes and liquor (12.1%), and tax exemption for low income earners (12.1%). But among those who are aware, only half (46.5%) agree on its implementation while 28.3% disagree, which results to +18.2%, or “moderate”, net agreement. With report by Jason N. Neola