More find govt fight vs graft to be wanting

MANILA — More Filipinos consider corruption to be the most urgent national concern and a substantial number  believe the Aquino administration’s work on five key national concerns are wanting, the pollster Pulse Asia said on Tuesday as it released the results of its latest survey.

“Filipinos are most concerned about corruption, inflation, low pay of workers and employment; public concern as regards peace and corruption becomes more pronounced between June and September,” Pulse Asia said in a statement posted on its website.

In September 2013, the most frequently cited urgent national concerns among Filipinos are fighting corruption in government (48%), controlling inflation (48%), increasing the pay of workers (46%), and creating more jobs (42%).

Meanwhile, 32% of Filipinos cite poverty as a national concern that requires the immediate attention of the Aquino administration, Pulse Asia said.

Four issues make up a third cluster of concerns deemed urgent by Filipinos: peace (22%), rule of law (18%), criminality (17%), and environmental degradation (15%). Filipinos are least concerned about rapid population growth (11%).

Pulse Asia data showed that only 31 percent of 1,200 respondents in June said that fighting graft and corruption is the most urgent national concern, but this climbed by 17 percentage points in September when it hit 48 percent.

The pollster clarified that the survey was conducted from Sept. 14-27 when the news was dominated by reports of the alleged misuse of congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund and the filing of charges against alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

Moreover, Pulse Asia said there was growing disapproval of the government’s work on five issues: employment, low pay of workers, rapid population growth, inflation and peace.

“Levels of disapproval for the work done by the national administration on five issues increase significantly during this period,” Pulse Asia said.

More respondents expressed disapproval of the government work in employment (+7 percentage points), low pay of workers (+7 percentage points), rapid population growth (+7 percentage points), inflation (+7 percentage points), and peace (+12 percentage points).

The pollster said the Aquino administration scored majority approval ratings on only two of the 10 national issues: criminality and rule of law.