Despite being able to answer issues and problems thrown at him during debates, administration bet Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party lacks one thing - empathy. This is according to different political analysts from top universities in the country.
Roxas was able to perform well during face offs with his fellow candidates and was consistent in sharing and explaining his platforms and future programs but wasn't able to win the masses according to recent surveys.
According to Professor Edna Co, former dean of the National College of Public Administration and Governance at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Roxas fails to show he empathize with the people he wanted to serve in the future.
"I think overall, he is the overall governance person who will look at things at the policy level, the more technical part of it, but if you have a format such as last night, where individuals coming representing sectors, there is a new mode of speaking to them, and addressing it, not in a generic sense maybe, the person asking requires some level of unity, identifying, emphasizing," Co said on ANC last Monday.
Prof. Co added, "I think the word is empathy, empathizing with the person. I think that was a bit lacking in how Secretary Roxas did it.”
This seemingly speaks the truth as Roxas usually ranked third or fourth in popular election survey including Pulse Asia and the BusinessWorld-Social Weather Station surveys.
Julio Teehankee, a professor from the De La Salle University, also sees Roxas' background and 'decent' image can be interpreted as being an elitist which of course doesn't appeal to a bigger number of voters.
“To speak of being decent at this time when the poor are suffering is really off,” Teehankee explained.
"The assumption is the poor who are supporting Rodrigo Duterte, or Jejomar Binay or Grace Poe are not decent. It's a loaded concept.”
The Liberal Party being endorsed by the current administration might also position Roxas to a disadvantage according to Teehankee. Currently, being the standard bearer, Roxas doesn't seem to be meeting expectations.
"The President himself is popular but his government is not, and those who embody his government are, by association, also unpopular with the electorate. It's unfortunate that Secretary Roxas is the face of this administration in this election so he is not really connecting,” he added.
All in all, the lack of connecting with the masses and showing empathy seems to be blocking Roxas' way into leading the surveys as well as the lack of campaigning for change plays an integral part in his popularity.