MANILA - The trust of Filipinos in the US, a traditional ally, dipped amid the tirades of President Rodrigo Duterte against the Western superpower, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that also showed improved trust ratings for strategic rivals China and Russia.
Of 1,500 adults questioned between December 3 and 6, 70 percent had "much trust" in the US, 19 percent were undecided and 11 had "little trust."
This yielded a "very good" +59 net trust rating which is the difference between the percentage of respondents with "much trust" and "little trust." In the SWS scale, a score of at least 50 qualifies as "very good" while ratings 70 above are "excellent."
SWS noted that the US' trust score, which was down 7 points from last September's "very good," was the lowest in over 6 years since March 2010's "good" +35.
Duterte hurled expletive-laden speeches against the US under the Obama administration but has tempered his rhetoric upon the rise to the White House of US President Donald Trump, whom the Filipino leader said has expressed support for his war on drugs.
At the same time, Duterte also sought to strengthen ties with China and Russia as part of an independent foreign policy.
The SWS survey showed that China's trust rating jumped 2 grades from September 2016's "bad" -33 to the current "neutral" +9
Russia, meanwhile, scored a new record-high "neutral" net trust score of +9, surpassing its previous record of "neutral" -4 in March 2014.
"Out of the 6 surveys since December 1995, net trust in Russia was 'neutral' in 3, 'poor' in 2 and 'bad' in 1,” the pollster also noted.
The same survey showed that Japan and Australia, Manila's 2 other
economic and strategic allies, kept "good" ratings from Filipinos.
Both allies obtained a "good" net trust rating of +37 although Australia's score slid 10 points from its previous +47 and Japan's rating was up 3 points from its "good" +34 in September.
First published on the Businessworld, the survey has sampling error margins of ±3 percent.