Rodrigo Duterte ended his presidency with a satisfaction rating that would still fall within the traditional "honeymoon" stage and beating all his predecessors since the restoration of democracy in 1986, survey data showed.
The 77-year-old populist leader had a "very good score" -- with 78% satisfied, 13% dissatisfied, and 9% undecided -- when he relinquished power to President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., based on an SWS poll of 1,440 respondents from April 19 to 27.
Duterte's rating was the highest of all Philippine presidents starting with Corazon Aquino. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo still holds the record for the lowest rating.
Duterte's "very good" net satisfaction rating of +65 is five points higher than his +60 average rating for the entire 2021 or the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the Philippines, satisfaction with Duterte's performance as president was highest in his home island Mindanao at +83 classified by SWS as "excellent". He got a "very good" satisfaction rating in all other areas of the country.
The high satisfaction rating of Duterte is a rarity for Philippine presidents who usually become unpopular once they enter their lame duck era. Prior to the election of his successor Marcos Jr., Duterte was the most popular president of the Philippines since the restoration of democracy in the country.
Duterte's presidency also has the distinction of leading the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst global health and economic crisis of the 21st century so far.
The first leader to come from Mindanao, Duterte made his bloody war on drugs the centerpiece project of his administration.
He returned to his hometown Davao after leaving Malacañang last month.