MANILA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Most Filipinos continue to express appreciation for the work of the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, according to an independent poll released on Friday.
A survey by Pulse Asia Inc. conducted from Sept. 24 to 30 showed that Filipinos' assessment of the administration performance in handling of nearly all of the 12 issues, including fighting criminality and stamping out corruption, is essentially unchanged during the period of June to September 2017.
Of the 1,200 Filipinos surveyed, Pulse Asia said 78 percent appreciated the way the Duterte administration responded to the needs of those affected by calamities.
It said that 78 percent of those surveyed approved of Duterte's efforts to fight criminality while 76 percent thinks Duterte did a good job in protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers.
The poll said 70 percent approved of Duterte's performance in fighting corruption, while 68 percent approved of the administration's efforts to protect the environment.
In other areas of concern, the poll said 67 percent approved of the Duterte administration's enforcing the rule of law and 67 percent approved the administration's performance in promoting peace in the country.
Moreover, the poll said that more than half of those interviewed, at 65 percent, approved of the administration's performance to defend national territorial integrity; create more jobs, 63 percent; and increasing workers' pay, 58 percent.
"The two issues on which the Duterte administration fails to achieve a majority approval score are poverty reduction (49 percent) and inflation (45 percent), the latter being the top urgent national concern of Filipinos (50 percent citing)," Pulse Asia said.
It added that the levels of disapproval for the administration's handling of these 12 selected issues range from 3 percent on disaster response to 21 percent on inflation while levels of indecision on the matter vary from 16 percent on criminality to 36 percent on poverty reduction.
For the period June to September 2017, Pulse Asia said the only significant change in the national administration's performance ratings is the decline in the level of appreciation for its efforts to enforce the law equally on all citizens at negative 7 percentage points.
"The decrease in the level of approval for the Duterte administration's work in the areas of fighting criminality and corruption (both at negative 6 percentage points) and the rise in the level of ambivalence as regards its anti-corruption and pro-peace initiatives (both at positive 6 percentage points) fall short of being considered significant in light of the survey's overall error margin of +/- 3 percentage points," Pulse Asia said.
Duterte, who assumed the presidency in June 2016, ends his single six-year term in 2022.
He vowed to stamp out corruption and jail businessmen who do not pay proper taxes, saying he has zero tolerance to corrupt officials and tax evaders.
Specifically, Duterte said his priority areas include ending graft and corruption in government, fighting the drug menace, and dealing with enemies of the state like terrorism and rebellion.
On Thursday night, Duterte told a business conference that his administration "will take care to attain peace (and) take care of the economy."
"That is my article of faith. Unless we are really freed of the so many crimes and so many movements, rebellions, the Philippines would always be in a struggle," he said.