DESPITE almost six years of the Aquino administration’s “Straight Path,” Filipinos consider corruption as the most important problem of the country, the latest The Standard Poll shows.
Resident Junie Laylo said 31 percent of the surveyed 1,500 registered voters who said they are likely to vote in next year’s elections, named corruption as the most important problem.
Among the five areas where the survey was conducted from Dec. 4 to 12, those from Metro Manila were most concerned with corruption (38 percent), followed by South Luzon/Bicol (33 percent) and North/Central Luzon (30 percent). Those less concerned were from the Visayas (29 percent) and Mindanao (28 percent).
Although corruption has always been a top concern since May, this was the first time it was viewed as more important than unemployment, which dropped from 29 percent to only 10 percent in December, Laylo said.
Other important problems identified by respondents were poverty (15 percent) and illegal drugs (14 percent).
Poverty, now seen as the second most important problem, did not even figure in the top five problems in the May and September polls, where it registered a low 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
Metro Manila residents were least concerned with poverty (9 percent) while those from North/Central Luzon and South Luzon/Bicol (both 19 percent) thought it is the second most important problem of the country.
The prices of goods and services also dropped from its third-place ranking in May (17 percent) and September (16 percent) with only 9 percent saying it is one of the most important problems of the country.
Despite the problems they identified, 64 percent said they believed the country is heading in the right direction, compared to 36 percent who said it was on the wrong track.
This was an improvement from September, when 53 percent believed the country was going in the right direction and 47 said it was on the wrong track. In May, 51 percent said it was going in the right direction and 49 disagreed.
Most who thought the country was heading in the right direction came from the Visayas (53 percent) and Mindanao (52 percent), who were affected by the cash dole they were receiving under the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
The response from the Visayas and Mindanao was even better than the national response rate of 46 percent, compared to Metro Manila where 45 percent cited the 4Ps as a reason and 40 percent in North/Central Luzon. Only 36 percent cited the 4Ps as a reason in South Luzon/Bicol.
Other reasons given accounted for a far lower percentage: absence of war or disorder, 3 percent; government aid during calamities, employment opportunities and educational benefits, all 5 percent.
Only 8 percent said they based their view on economic progress or on improvement in the fight against corruption while 10 percent said it was on the right track because of improvements in infrastructure or the detention of high-ranking government officials.
On the other hand, most of those who said the government was going in the wrong direction based their decision on their wages (40 percent), followed by the rising cost of living (15 percent) and the lack of government assistance to disaster victims (15 percent).
Of those concerned with wages, 51 percent were in Metro Manila and 48 percent in the Visayas. Forty-five percent from North Central/Luzon and 32 percent from South Luzon/Bicol shared the view while only 25 percent were from Mindanao.
The survey, conducted between Dec. 4 and 12, involved face-to-face interviews with 1,500 registered voters who said they would certainly vote in 2016, and who came from 76 provinces and 38 cities.
The national figures have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent, with a confidence rate of 97.4 percent because the sample size was equally distributed geographically and differentiated between provinces and their component cities.