Inaccuracies in results of SWS’ latest survey were pointed out

IT struck me as very strange that I took notice of certain “anomaly’’ in the conduct of Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey from March 4 to 7 which has found  President Benigno Aquino III’s net satisfaction rating dropped from plus 64 in November last year to plus 51 in early March.

The drop in the President’s rating is normal and to be expected because it can be likened to marriage after the honeymoon stage is over so to speak. But for SWS to blame the drop to the President’s acquisition of the speed-car Porsche is something beyond us.

In said survey, SWS asked its respondents to react to the following statement: “President Aquino’s purchase of an expensive car such as a Porsche, even with his own money, is not a good example for a president of a country like the Philippines.”

The question to my mind was unfair, leading and one-sided.  It’s unfair, because the
premise(s) were not true, if not debatable.

It was a leading question that suggested a yes-reply.

The question is one-sided and highly opinionated because the side of the President in the statement was apparently omitted to elicit a yes-answer from respondents.

Recall that in justifying his purchase of the car, the President said that he sold his old BMW and took a personal loan to buy a Porsche. He said he should get a Porsche now while he still had the capability to drive one as his reflexes may not be quick when he exits the presidency in five years from now.

P-Noy said he did not think people would object that once in a while he can smile in the face of many problems left for him to deal with. He said “If driving the car relaxes me, surely it would redound to the country’s benefit when I have to make decision.”

This column thinks if it is just for the hobby which both rich and poor have also, buying a used and depreciated car is justified for a President to do, considering that he is reportedly now live a loveless bachelor life after his break-up with his former girlfriend Shalani Soledad.

Besides, most men admire beautiful cars the way men in ancient times loved their horses.  President Aquino has blamed the drop in his satisfactions ratings on the failure of the good news done by his administration to reach the public.

He admitted, however that there’s a need to improve the dissemination of the information relative to what the government is doing for the people.

The President lamented that some positive developments under his administration had failed to make it to the front pages of the newspapers. He cited the Atlantic Gulf and Pacific’s $10 billion in contracts and its need for 4,000 engineers that could be filled by those that were displaced from Libya.

He also mentioned the Department of Agriculture’s projection that the deficit in rice production next year would only be 300,000 metric tons compared to 1.3 million this year, and that 400,000 families have been added to the beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer program.

This is walking the right path by aspiring for achievements rather than for popularity or public acceptance because as Nicolo Machiavelli curtly put it “nothing is more useless and more inconstant than the people”.  The multitude may trust you now but there is no guarantee that they would still trust you next day.

Achievements that leave lasting legacy to people are much better than mere popularity which is inconstant and temporary. Cornelio Reyes de Guzman


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