A week after the floods inundated almost half of Metro Manila last August 7-9, the assumption by the Staff of StratPOLLS is that the national government reacted late as torrential rains were flooding the metropolis. (This poll tested that assumption.) People evacuated on their own in the wee hours of the morning of August 7 and in some instances with help from local governments. In many areas, people waited with anticipation for help.
While glued on television that morning, people saw small rescue units of local DRRMC acting on their own volition, and out of humanitarian reasons. Except for the MMDA, the other national government agencies were nowhere in sight at that time.
President Aquino finally became visible late that morning, by eleven o’clock, when he presided over a meeting of the NDRRMC and adjourned the same by noontime.
It will be recalled that during their respective administration, former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Ferdinand Marcos reacted with dispatch under many similar conditions, coordinating all relevant government agencies as early as 3 or 4 in the morning.
The views expressed in this poll were culled from mostly middle class respondents in Quezon City, Caloocan, Pasay, Pasig and Manila. Interviews were conducted August 13-15 instant.
Thirty two percent of those polled said their houses were flooded while 68 percent said that while their houses were not flooded, they were not able to go to (school or to) work because streets were flooded just the same. Assuming that Metro Manila has a household population of 12 million, and 32 percent of those polled in this survey said they suffered from direct flooding, therefore, we can assume that 3 million 840 thousand households were directly flooded. The floods caused near total paralysis in the metropolis.
As a consequence, 50 percent of those polled said they were not satisfied with the performance of President Aquino at the height of the big floods while 37 percent think Aquino performed well. (Refer to Table 2)
This poll used a universe of 250 adult respondents as the samples. The respondents were distributed proportionately and in a stratified demographic format among the five pre-determined research areas which were Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila, Pasay and Pasig. This exercise used the Gallup Polls method of phone interviews which is the standard survey/poll method in the United States. The respondents in this exercise were pre-qualified from a data bank of 2,000 respondents in NCR. They were selected at random. The poll had a confidence level of 98 percent and a margin of error of 3.5 percent more or less.